CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Another major student housing development is in the works in Oregon, this time near the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.
The owners of a 33-acre parcel are seeking annexation to the city so that the property can get zoning for a project that could consist of 290 apartments with 650 bedrooms.
Recently, developers in Eugene, home of the University of Oregon, won a tax break to develop a downtown project for 1,200 students.
The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported Friday that the Corvallis property owners have filed a request with the city to put the annexation request on the November ballot.
One previous attempt to annex the property was defeated at the polls. Another was dropped after city planners opposed it and the housing market collapsed.
Construction of The Retreat at Oak Creek could start in the summer of 2013, and the complex could open the following fall, said Blair Sweeney of Landmark Properties, a Georgia company that specializes in upscale student rentals.
A quarter of the property would be set aside as open space, and the complex would have a full-time manager and a "courtesy officer," an off-duty police officer who would patrol the premises in exchange for an apartment.
In other communities where his company does business, Sweeney said, it's unheard of to find 33 acres of vacant land zoned for apartments within a mile of a university campus.
And although rental markets are notoriously tight in college towns, few come close to Corvallis' vacancy rate, about 1 percent.
"I hope the residents of Corvallis recognize there's a need for student housing here," he said.
On Thursday, the developers and consultants held an open house at Oregon State's alumni center for Corvallis residents, some of whom said the development was needed in a crowded housing market.
A woman whose neighborhood of single-family homes is across the road from the project Corvallis has arrived at a time where it has to choose its identity.
"I guess we need to decide, as a community, do we want to be a university community and the general population move away?" said Suzanne Roppe. "Or can we all find a way to get along?"
Information from: Gazette-Times
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.