Developer proposes student apartments on University

Developer proposes student apartments on University

URBANA — A Florida developer has resurrected plans for a student apartment complex on the north side of University Avenue in Urbana.

The Bainbridge Cos. plan to build the five-story,197-unit complex with beds for 510 students in the 1000 block of West University Avenue.

The apartments would be situated behind Hot Wok Express and the recently closed Cocina Real restaurant — and also on the site of the strip center just to the east that once housed Illinois Department of Employment Security offices.

Tom Carrino, Urbana's economic development manager, estimated the total cost of the project at more than $30 million.

The project includes a seven-level, 401-space parking deck on North Goodwin Avenue, just north of the Durst Cycle & Fitness building.

The complex would also have about 2,000 square feet of retail space along University Avenue, with a 14-space parking lot for retail customers.

In late 2007, another real estate company, Dallas-based Trammell Crow, announced plans to build a 161-unit apartment complex on the same site.

But financing for that project was derailed as a result of the 2008 economic crisis, Carrino said.

The new project is different from the initial one in some respects, with less retail space planned and the addition of the parking deck, he said.

As proposed, the Bainbridge apartment complex would include 70 four-bedroom units, 103 two-bedroom units and 24 one-bedroom units.

The driveway from University Avenue would be flanked by retail space on the left, a leasing office on the right and student amenities — such as a fitness room, club room, lounge and rooftop terrace — overhead.

The driveway would lead to the parking lot for retail customers.

Residents with cars, however, would enter the complex from Goodwin Avenue, driving into the parking deck, then walking to the adjacent apartments.

The Urbana Plan Commission has recommended a special use permit for the project, and the Urbana Zoning Board of Appeals will consider requests for variances for setbacks Sept. 19. The city council is slated to consider the special use permit Oct. 15.

The Bainbridge Cos., based in Wellington, Fla., own, develop and manage multifamily apartment communities in the eastern United States, primarily Florida, Maryland and Virginia.

The senior development director for Bainbridge, Michael Augustine, declined comment on the project — including the timetable, cost and even the name — saying it was company policy not to comment on projects "going through the political approval process."

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rsp wrote on September 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

Exactly how many student complexes do we need? Has anyone stopped to consider that question? Perhaps we should consider what has come of some of the other student complexes in the area. I'm really wondering if confining 18-22 year olds in hi-rises with no other adults is a bad idea. And this one has a nice roof-top terrace. That sounds like fun on Unofficial, doesn't it. Five hundred and ten "adults" who have never lived on their own before, without any older more mature neighbors to help keep them in check. Haven't we learned that segregating populations leads to problems? 

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm
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"Haven't we learned that segregating populations leads to problems?"

Well, what's the alternative in this situation?  I think it's great that partying college kids have their own buildings and their own area of town to live in.  There would be a lot of frustration and conflict if more of them lived in the same neighborhoods and buildings as older townies, the sort of people who don't want to be woken up by yelling or loud music at 3 am or encounter drunk people in the early afternoon.

As to what's happening with the student living complexes we already have?  Short answer...they are occupied.  We just had an article in the N-G the other day about another record enrollment on campus this semester.  Students have to live somewhere.

mankind wrote on September 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Nanny state nonsense. Contrary to the opinions of campus administrators and much of the surrounding community, college students are not "kids" and we should not treat them as such. It is not our responsibility to child-proof their world.  

bookworm wrote on September 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

There are very few student complexes in Urbana.  This is by the engineering campus and Beckman, so close for students in those fields.  This is good economic development for Urbana.  Champaign is planning another high rise at 6th & Green because they can get more tax dollars out of a building than they get revenue from the parking lot.  Maybe this time Champaign won't give a variance on parking for their new high rise, but I doubt it.

B-Evs wrote on September 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

Wait, Cocina Real has closed?

I don't know how students are affording all of these luxury apartments that are going up, even with multiple roommates.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm
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Well, they can't afford them, but their rich suburban parents can.  A lot of the kids going to the U of I these days pay for everything they spend on mommy and daddy's credit card.

Nice Davis wrote on September 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

What's with the sneering tone? Are you faulting the kids for not refusing their parents' financial support, or faulting the parents for wanting to spend their money on their kids the way they want?

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 14, 2012 at 9:09 am
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I can't fault the kids.  Who would turn down living in a slick high-rise apartment for free? 

Maybe I could fault the parents for spoiling their children instead of trying to teach them self-reliance and preparing them for the real world.  If I were a rich parent of a college student, I think I would give them $450 a month for a basic efficiency, and if they wanted a nicer place then they could find a part-time job to pay for the difference.  But I'm not a rich parent with a kid in college, so that's just like, my opinion, man.

Orbiter wrote on September 16, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Reality check, man. If you're only shelling out $450/month for a basic efficiency, your "kid" isn't living in Champaign/Urbana.  And who's paying the $11,650 year tuition?  And I agree 100% with those who say these students are ADULTS and should be treated as such.  Let's quit calling them "kids", which only makes matters worse.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm
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You can absolutely find an efficiency in C-U for 450 per month of rent.  OK, so maybe 600 or a little higher if you include power, water, and gas, assuming none of them are paid for by the landlord.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 13, 2012 at 9:09 am
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Judging from the provided cartoon, should I assume "variances for setbacks" refers to the blind tunnel where texting drivers will mow down texting pedestrians?

elizabethzinchuk wrote on September 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm

College is a place where 'kids' from high school become adults.  Most of the hyped up unofficial events are individuals taking it to the extreme.  If a criteria for concern for students living on their own is that "What will happen when unofficial happen," then what is the point of college?  Students should be considered adults and not be automatically thrown into the cateogory of the dangerous partiers.  Administrators and professionals have better things to do than hold students hands so they do not make mistakes in their personal lives.  

rsp wrote on September 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

By the way, the CPD is working out the details on how to cope with the extra calls for service to the existing housing for students plus how to pay for it. So somebody is playing nanny and somebody is picking up the tab. 

johnny wrote on September 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Yes,  back the truck up.  Was there ever any coverage of Cocina Real closing?  Best Mexican in town.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 14, 2012 at 9:09 am
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