Surging UA Enrollment Attracts $150 Million in Private Student Housing Projects

by George Waldon  on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012 12:00 am  

One of the three private off-campus student housing projects that hasn't started construction but is scheduled to open in 2014 is battling through opposition.

Residents of the University Heights neighborhood have taken the city to court regarding its rezoning approval for Project Cleveland on the northern edge of campus.

The proposed development would replace the 60-unit Sunshine Place Apartments and several adjoining rental houses with a 122-unit LEED-certified project.

Specialized Real Estate Group of Springdale downsized its plans from five stories to two stories and downscaled twice from its original 222 units in unsuccessful efforts to defuse neighborhood opposition.

Specialized Real Estate is working with the Sterling University Housing arm of the Dinerstein Cos. of Houston on a two-phase project near the eastern edge of campus.

Construction of the 673-bed first phase, known as Sterling Frisco, is under way near the Frisco Railroad tracks. A 559-bed second phase is planned to follow.

Three would-be student housing projects linked with sites west of Interstate 540 are in limbo, including a 600-bed proposal by the Capstone Cos. of Birmingham, Ala.

"Right now, we're effectively on hold," said Rob Howland, executive vice president of Capstone. "We have not applied for any type of site plan approval. I can't give you a timetable on when we might start that back up.

"The land is no longer under contract, but it remains a potential long-term possibility."

The future of the other two drawing-board deals by 908 Development Group of Tampa, Fla., and Landmark Properties of Athens, Ga., appears to be as uncertain.

Representatives from the two firms couldn't be reached for comment.



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