Buckeye Real Estate’s presence in the University District might be getting bigger, as the off-campus real estate giant has proposed a new apartment building just behind the Gateway parking garage off High Street.
Positioned in an alley between Ninth and 11th avenues, the 26 by 265 feet plot of land had gone mostly unnoticed for a number of years. That was until Wayne Garland, owner of Buckeye Real Estate, approached Campus Partners about the parcel in the spring of 2015.
“I wondered if they even knew they owned it,” Garland said.
Now, more than a year after the initial proposal, Buckeye Real Estate and Campus Partners are in contract for the land, having until October to officially close.
Erin Prosser, director of community development for Campus Partners, said since the deal for the land has not been finalized, there is no word on a final price. However, with zoning approved and the design well on its way, Garland has no doubt the deal will be completed before the October due date.
The apartment building, which Buckeye Real Estate hopes will be fully operational by fall 2017, will contain eight units — four with one bedroom and four with two bedrooms.
The main selling point, however, is the private parking. Garland said each apartment will have its own private garage space for each resident.
Scott Smith, a fourth-year in hospitality management, was intrigued by the idea of a private garage.
“Parking is a huge issue off campus, especially around High Street,” Smith said. “Having your own private parking spot is a huge plus.”
In addition to the convenience that private parking provides off-campus students, Garland cited safety as a primary concern when designing the garages.
“The rent will probably be a little higher than the norm, but the fact that someone can pull right in and go straight upstairs is a little different — more like a house,” he said.
However, even with the amenities Garland hopes to provide, the Buckeye Real Estate owner can’t help but feel somewhat apprehensive.
The new on-campus living requirement for second-year students means less business for off-campus landlords like Garland.
“Is (the apartment building) needed? That’s always the question in this market,” Garland said. “I wouldn’t do it if it were 100 units. But eight units; kind of a unique location and a unique concept with the individual garages — I hope it has a market.”
Citing the land’s relatively small size and location, Buckeye Real Estate stressed the minimal impact on current residents and pedestrians.
“There would be no disruption to any neighboring properties whatsoever,” Garland said.
Buckeye Real Estate’s proposal is set for a conceptual review with the University Area Review Board this month. If all goes as planned, construction should begin sometime this year.