After a boom in enrollment at local universities last year, several new apartment complexes are in the works and developers are catering to the college crowd.
Chris Rosprim, broker and property manager with KW Commercial, said student housing developments “continue to come because they perceive there is a strong rental market in Denton.”
More housing has become a necessity with more than 50,000 students enrolled in area universities.
“Students … would really prefer to live close to campus,” Rosprim said. “And that’s what the properties being built are trying to attract.”
Last year, at least three student developments were built in Denton, including Midtown Apartments, Campus Crest and The Retreat at Denton.
Lubbock-based Atlas Real Estate Partners hopes to make Eagle Creek an extension of the nearby University of North Texas.
The property on Eagle Drive is under renovation and is scheduled to open in the fall. It will feature a purple exterior with a metal roof as well as LED lights outside that change color in unison and a neon sign.
“All these things we thought would appeal to a typical UNT student,” said Joe Stampone, vice president of Investments at Atlas Real Estate Partners.
The complex has 172 one-bedroom units.
“We identified Denton as an interesting platform for us,” Stampone said.
Stampone said that Eagle Creek will be driven by culture, arts and music.
Over the summer, a UNT mural design class will paint a mural on the facade of one of the buildings, Stampone said.
“We’ve been trying to work with the university as closely as possible,” he said.
The complex also is thinking of having a rotating art exhibit.
Eagle Creek’s amenities include a pool, hot tub, fire pit, grills, tanning booth and gym.
The complex will provide activities such as monthly movie nights for tenants.
“Our whole focus is small town, big university,” Stampone said.
33° North is another apartment complex that is in the works but it won’t be ready until fall 2013. Its goal is to maintain a good relationship with UNT, said Trevor Tollett, vice president of development with Dallas-based Fountain Residential Partners.
The apartment complex, being built on Eagle Drive between Beatty and Bernard streets, has 137 units with 427 bedrooms. It’s across the street from UNT’s fraternity houses.
“It’s walking distance to campus,” he said.
It’s a mixture of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments. Each bedroom has its own bath.
The units are fully furnished with utilities paid.
“It would be considered an urban mid-rise building,” Tollett said.
The building will have five stories with an internal five-story parking garage, he said.
Amenities include pool, granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances and a security system.
Pets are allowed.
“The best amenity is you don’t need to get on the bus to get to school,” Tollett said.
A leasing office for the complex will be set up on North Locust Street next to Jupiter House.
Change and growth
Rosprim said the addition of new apartment complexes could cause “softness” in the market for other properties, such as rent houses.
But in Denton, a market remains for privately owned rent houses, Rosprim said.
The new apartment communities, which tend to get leased quickly, can cause owners of older properties to remodel or sell and have someone else refurbish the building to compete, he said.
“It’s only natural for students to want to live in the newest and nicest in the city,” Rosprim said.
The influx of student housing also helps promote growth at the universities, Rosprim said.
“Certainly having increased ability to find them housing is helping UNT to grow,” he said, adding that TWU and North Central Texas College also are growing.
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE WEB
Eagle Creek: http://eaglecreekunt.com
33° North: http://fountainresidential.com