Student Housing Project Considered by City Council

Posted by Jon Weist, on Fri January 17 2014 at 02:20 PM

On matters involving development issues, the Chamber has previously supported policies that promote quality development and redevelopment. On occasion, if a project appears to add value, and meets development standards for quality and economic improvement, we have sought support for that project from our members.

On Tuesday, January 21, the City Council will consider a development proposal that will deliver additional customers to downtown businesses and provide additional, modern housing for students at UT Arlington.
This project promises to be a significant step in implementing the Central Arlington Initiative plan, which was developed by a broad coalition in 2003.  It led to the Unified Downtown Plan, adopted by both the City Council and the Chamber.  Both acknowledged the need for additional housing, and additional housing density, in order to grow the downtown economy.
The Arlington Lofts has been redesigned after initial City Council rejection; specifically, the density has been lowered by more than 20%. It’s important to acknowledge that despite the growth in housing in the UT Arlington area, there is still minimal student housing of high quality on or adjacent to the campus. A letter from UT Arlington to the Planning and Zoning Commission commenting on the original, higher-density proposal is located at http://arlingtontx.com/images/uploads/UTA-Support_Letter.pdf
Some specific information about the project includes:
• 169 units
• Alternating 3 stories and 4 stories
• 3-level parking structure
• Onsite professional management in an 8,000+ square foot facility and student-specific amenity center
• Designed according to direct survey of UTA student body
• Fully furnished dwelling units, leased per person (individual lease liability), consistent with industry-wide, purpose-built student housing leasing

Project elevations are posted at http://arlingtontx.com/images/uploads/A10-BUILDING_ELEVATIONS.pdf A few bullet points specific to encouraging UT Arlington’s development and downtown development are posted on the Chamber’s web site at http://arlingtontx.com/publicpolicy/cityissues-showissue/2345/
Comparisons to other, 40-year-old apartment complexes do not reflect the current trend in multi-family building, increased standards required by the city, or the history of student-oriented housing built by the Arlington Lofts developers and others in proximity to universities around the country. These developments are owned and managed for decades by companies specifically oriented to the student housing market.
Please let City Council members know that this project is important from two perspectives: (1) Arlington needs to send a clear signal to investors and the regional development community that the city does support projects that conform to its plans; and (2) UTA’s increased student growth has created a significant demand.  For questions, please contact Jon Weist, Chamber VP for Government Relations, at jweist@arlingtontx.com or at 817-543-4300.

Want to learn more?

Related Links

Center for Public Policy Home

Center for Public Policy Advisory Council

City Issues

State Issues

Federal Issues

Newsletter Posts

Partners

Events

Documents & Reports