Official: nearby development likely to foster community life

A new town home development close to campus will likely further the university’s goal of becoming a “residential campus,” a university official said.

Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said the university hopes to have about 70 percent of undergraduates living on or near campus . He said housing developments like the Cantey Place town homes, located on Parmer Avenue east of the Moudy Building, will likely draw in students, as have the extension of activities for students, such as the University Recreation Center, a 24-hour library and late-night functions at the Brown-Lupton University Union.

“Students who are living off campus will want to live close so they can take advantage of what’s happening on the campus,” Mills said.

Schylene Reetz, a junior political science major and first-year transfer student who now lives in the Grand Marc, said at her previous school she lived far away from campus. She said the distance made it difficult to become a part of the student life, and living close to campus has already made her feel a part of the TCU community.

Matt Franklin, president of Franklin Properties and developer of the Cantey Place town homes, said all 24 three-story town home units will have a Bostonian-style design similar to the brownstones of Boston and New York City.

In an effort to “go green,” the developers have also decided to use recycled steel frames instead of wood, Franklin said.

“That’s not cheap,” Franklin said. “It’s not easy going green, but we thought it was the right thing to do.”

Reetz said the town homes’ design will likely appeal to students.

“Most college kids kind of aspire to those big cities,” Reetz said. “But at the same time want the small, city of Fort Worth kind of feel.”

Franklin said while town homes are intended for students, he has also had some interested professors and residents in the immediate area who are looking to relocate.

Franklin Properties has also spent time making sure the design of the town homes fit with the surrounding neighborhood, Franklin said.

The town home plans were studied and approved by the neighborhood associations within the immediate area, Franklin said. The neighborhood associations were concerned about high density living, which is why Franklin Properties is building 24 units, about half of what was initially proposed, he said.

“If you’re as close to campus as our project is, (then) it’s all the more important that we build something that blends with the character of the neighborhood,” Franklin said.

To help blend in with the neighborhood, the town homes are each designed to have a different look, Franklin said. The town home structures will sit uneven with varying colors of brick, and stairways leading up to the porch will vary in height, he said.

Every “luxury” unit will have granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors, Franklin said. Each unit will be about 2,000 square feet with three bedrooms and three and a half baths, he said.

The project will also feature a swimming pool, which will be placed in the middle of the development, Franklin said.

The first 12 units are expected to be completed by the end of December and will start at $420,000, and the following 12 units are expected to be ready for move-in by summer 2009, Franklin said.