COLUMBIA — Members of the Shepard Boulevard Neighborhood Association made sure Houston-based developer Asset Plus Cos. knew that they were concerned about traffic.
The association held two votes at a special meeting Wednesday night. First, they voted unanimously, 19-0, to add an amendment stating that they were concerned about traffic that could be created by a new student apartment complex to be built in Crosscreek Center.
Then, the association voted 15-4 to approve a memorandum written by Rod Robison, chair of Shepard Boulevard, and Jim Muench, former chair, that states that the developers met with the association and that their plans were acceptable to the neighborhood.
Traffic was the most contentious issue with residents. Tim Crockett, of Crockett Engineering and the engineer on the project, addressed concerns about traffic, referring to a study conducted when a car lot was proposed for the property. He said the apartment complex will generate less traffic than a car lot would have.
Dave Angle, a resident of Shepard Boulevard, said that the traffic study for the car lot doesn't address issues created by almost 700 parking spaces in the apartment complex. Students driving to campus would create traffic as well.
Mark Lindley, senior vice president of construction and development for Asset Plus, said the developers are willing to use buses to transport students to and from campus every day. They are also willing to work with the city transit system.
Residents expressed concerns about underage drinking, bright lighting and landscaping, among other topics.
Asset Plus is proposing a 648 bed, luxury student apartment complex that consists of eight buildings and a clubhouse. This will be a different college living experience than previous generations had, Lindley said. .
“Most of us in this room went to college. ... We stayed in cinder block rooms,” Lindley said. “This generation is a little harder to please.”
Apartments will have stainless steel appliances, plasma TVs, and many facilities in the clubhouse. Lindley gave a presentation on the Asset Plus business model and other projects it has developed.
The development team at the meeting was made up of Lindley, Crockett, Robert Hollis, the attorney working with Asset Plus, and John States of Little Dixie Construction. Lindley announced at the meeting that he and States had made an agreement that day for Little Dixie to be the general contractor in the early phases of development.
The city will host a public information meeting about the project on Tuesday. Crockett will represent the project at the meeting. Lindley will not attend.