$56 million student living community planned near campus

Aspen Heights, a private dorm building company, plans to build a $56 million student dorm complex north of I-45.

Like the new Vue apartments, this dorm building will also be an off -campus living community for college students. The private company has been building a chain of dorm complexes over the past few years. They have been building all types of dorms at different schools all over the country, but this is the first time that they will be building a dorm for a Houston university.

The complex will be a 4-story wrap style development with 305,076 square feet and 739 bedrooms. Aspen Heights plans to build on around 7.7 acres of land. The complex will also have a variety of different amenities available within the building and all of the suites.

“It seems like it will be very hospitable for students,” biology junior Bakari Samin said.

The complex will house one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and four-bedroom apartment suites. The prices are not set yet.

“I think this will definitely let everyone know who has money or who doesn’t,”communications senior Denisse Hidalgo said. “Social status  it’s gonna be a big thing I guess.”

To help fund the project, Aspen Heights is seeking a 10-year tax abatement from the city of Houston. They are already receiving a 9-year tax abatement, due to being located in an area of high poverty.

The complex will be located on Cullen Boulevard and just north of I-45. It will be a quarter of a mile from UH and students will have access to the future metro rail on Cullen.

“If I had a choice, I’d rather live on campus, so I don’t have a great deal of distance to walk, however, the fact that this new complex will has access to the metro rail is great,” said art junior Aliyah Zaidi.

The building will take up a large part of the land on Cullen and be the second off-campus living community at UH. This complex will help with providing more living options for UH students.

“I think these apartments are a good idea because they will create places for students to live and this will allow more students to get their education,” said broadcast journalism senior Benjamin Grice.

The complex is scheduled to be completed Fall 2015.

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  • The Eastwood Civic Club and the Greater Eastwood, Lawndale, & Wayside Super Neighborhood who represent the residents in the area both met with the developers a couple of months ago. The tax abatement, which is for use in blighted areas, such as this long abandoned triangular-shaped property. The developers also presented their plan to improve the streetscaping in the area. That will include lighting under the freeway and new pavers and pavement there and along the facility, and landscaping. We also asked that they include a publicly accessible B-Cycle station, which they have modified their plans to include. Both organizations submitted letters of support of the project, support of the larger tax abatement, and for expedited approval. As one of many proud Coogs in civic leadership roles in the East End, we think this project will be good for the university, the community, and for attracting other commercial projects that will be good for both.

  • The Southeast Line will have a station at Leeland and Scott, about four blocks from the complex. When the University Line is eventually built, its station at the Eastwood Transit Center will be about three blocks away.

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