Area apartment to start building soon

South University Centre, new off-campus student apartments located south of Bluebonnet Circle, will restart construction within the next month after a prolonged break, a partner in the apartment’s development firm said.

Mac Jones, a partner in Hammond Jones Real Estate Development, said the project was halted to expand existing water and sewer lines. The improvements were completed this summer, he said. The project’s final completion date was pushed back and the site will open summer 2009, he said.

Developers began construction on the 55-unit project in December 2007, Jones said. An older apartment complex was demolished in order to make way for the new project.

John Davis, a member of the executive committee for the Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association, where a portion of the project is located, said a number of low-income renters lived in the previous apartment complex and the association feels that the new apartments will be an improvement.

High-density living is the biggest concern the neighborhood association has with most apartment projects, Davis said.

Jones said the new project will not increase density because it has five fewer units than the previous apartment complex.

The Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association received few responses from residents about the project and most residents did not oppose it, Davis said.

The apartments will be leased by the bedroom from $600 to $700 per month, Jones said. The complex will provide a matching service for students who do not have roommates, he said.

Brittni Byrum, a junior fashion merchandising major who lives at the GrandMarc, said the price range of the apartments is a couple hundred dollars less than what she pays at the GrandMarc.

According to the GrandMarc’s fall 2008 price sheet, the cost of rent each month is priced per bed and can range from $494 to $1,203, depending on the floor plan and square footage of the apartment.

Bridget Ugoletti, a nursing major and off-campus apartment renter, said she and her roommate did not have a problem finding affordable housing. She said the new apartments will be beneficial for students who are having trouble finding on-campus housing.

Jones said each unit will have three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a common living area and kitchen.

Jones said the apartments were designed explicitly for students, with amenities that will include a pool, a fitness facility, tanning beds and an Internet cafe. All units will have a 42-inch flat-screen TV and an appliance package that will include a washer and dryer, he said.

“We feel like we have a project that will be very desirable for students at TCU,” Jones said.