COLUMBIA — The proposed student apartment complex across the street from Mark Twain residence hall would be a good fit for MU and Columbia because of its location, the project's developers told city officials Tuesday.
Brandt Stiles, the director of development for Collegiate Housing Partners, said the complex, given a tentative completion date of August 2015, would fit the university's plan to develop west campus while avoiding some of the pitfalls of downtown development.
"One of the big issues people talked to us about was that they didn't want student housing in the downtown business district," Stiles said during a public information meeting Tuesday at Daniel Boone City Building. "This (complex) is adjacent to the MU campus, but it isn't quite downtown. We don't feel like there is a better location available."
The complex would be situated south of Conley Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets.
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City of Columbia Development Services Manager Pat Zenner said the complex would be one of the densest residential developments in Columbia, as the six-story building will be able to house 351 students on 1.25 acres.
Developers also addressed the impact of added cars on the roads.
Plans for the complex, submitted April 29, call for 120 parking spaces for cars and additional space for bike parking, far short of the 300 spaces the city normally requires for a development of this size. The Planning and Zoning Commission will address the discrepancy at its June 6 meeting, when it will vote whether to recommend the development to the City Council.
The parking spaces would be housed in the complex's first floor, with the apartments occupying the remaining five floors, according to Stiles.
Stiles said he would work to support the city's FastCAT bus system to transport students. Stiles also said he wanted to work with the MU to allow residents to utilize the university's Bike Share program and its WeCar program.
"We want to make people realize that we can offer smart alternatives to bringing a car," Stiles said.
The developers revealed a digital rendering of the property. It had a red brick and white stone facade, similar to the Brookside complexes downtown.
Timothy VanMatre, the developer's director of operations, said he expected students to be able to move into the 351-bed complex on August 1, 2015.
"The cost will be similar to other complexes in the downtown area," he said.
Rent at Brookside Downtown ranges from $650 to $1,000 a month per person.