COLUMBIA — Two student-housing projects given the go-ahead on Wednesday by Columbia City Council would bring 607 new beds to downtown by August 2015.
The council voted unanimously in a special meeting to approve an agreement for the 351-bed Collegiate Housing Partners project on the south side of Conley Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets and also approved an agreement for the 256-bed Opus Development Co. project on the north side of Locust Street between Seventh and Eighth streets on a 4-3 vote.
Collegiate Housing Partners: Six-story apartment structure with 351 beds on the south side of Conley Avenue, between Fourth and Fifth streets.
Opus Development Co.: Six-story building with 256 beds on the north side of Locust Street, between Seventh and Eighth streets.
American Campus Communities: Five-story building with 718 beds at the intersection of Turner Avenue and Providence Road.
Those in favor of the Opus agreement were Mayor Bob McDavid, Fred Schmidt of the First Ward, Michael Trapp of the Second Ward and Laura Nauser of the Fifth Ward.
Developers of the two projects will help pay for sewer lines and other utility expenses in exchange for receiving building permits by April 1.
A rezoning request and development agreement for a third housing project — a 718-bed complex proposed by American Campus Communities on Providence Road at Turner Avenue — was tabled for two months on a 6-1 vote. The city doesn't have enough electrical capacity to provide the estimated 5 megawatts the project would need.
On Monday, Columbia lawyer Robert Hollis, who represents the American Campus Communities project, said the developer would be willing to move its scheduled opening date from August 2016 to up to two years later if there would be electric capacity at a later date.
Increased future electric capacity downtown could come from the city bringing two new feeder lines from the Hinkson Creek Substation.
Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine said the funding for those lines could come from a ballot initiative in November 2014, but the City Council would need to approve putting such an initiative on the ballot.
Under the agreements approved on Wednesday, Collegiate Housing Partners will pay the city $763,196, which includes standard fees and a $150,000 contribution toward a sewer main that will connect to the main downtown line.
Opus Development Co. will pay $920,964 in fees and contributions, including $200,000 toward a sewer main and $250,000 for widening an existing water main under Seventh and Locust streets. The developer will also pay for stormwater facilities at the site, the cost of which hasn't yet been determined, according to city staff.
Supervising editor is John Schneller.