Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Student Housing

Last night at the Council meeting, something significant happened that you should be aware of concerning student housing at UTA.  Now let’s back up and get a little history on the Sapphire project.  Awhile back this project was touted as a luxury living apartment project.  Since they couldn’t get the financing for the project with that purpose in mind, they went the student housing route and got the dollars required.  Student housing is a hot comodity right now because it is recession proof.  Then the project was sold from a west coast company to a Dallas company, which is a good thing.  The problem is when you build student housing it is usually one door knob per unit.  Each unit will have a common room, four bedrooms and four bathrooms.  So the number of units is not the issue, it is the number of students per acre that is significant.

 Now the Arlington Lofts on Abrams street was defeated a few months ago because the density was too large, at 166 students/acre.  It just so happens that the Sapphire project between Center and Mesquite is also at 166 students/acre.  So the new density standard for the city of Arlington has been set very high.  Yesterday at the work session I asked John Hall the Director of Planning for UTA, “what is the upper number of density that he considers comfortable student living at UTA?”  He could not give me an answer.  When asked what the density is going to be for the new student housing projects on campus, he simply stated that the private sector is going to have higher density than typical university housing.

So last night’s vote was pivotal in the argument of what is the upper limit of students that can live on an acre of land.  The Council voted 8-1 to set the acceptable bar at 166 students/acre.  How high will it go?


  1. We all know that the figure of 166/acre will not be 'students', but a probable future mix of Section-8 tenants. I commend your vote against this project, and hope your testimony during this council procedure was sincere. God help the neighborhood if/when this new monstrosity is erected.

  2. There are several older apartment complex's in and around the University. Although they are older none of them are Section 8. The number of 166 people/students is just too much humanity per acre. I don't like this density for anything. It's just too much.

  3. Thank you for voting against this. I agree with you that 166/acre is insanely high for Arlington.


Thank you for your comment.