Nearly 1,000 student bedrooms are being planned for an area just east of the Home Depot and Best Buy shopping area at 31st and Iowa streets.
Officials with Austin, Texas-based Aspen Heights hope to build 352 apartment units that would add 994 bedrooms to the area, according to documents filed at Lawrence City Hall.
The development would replace the current Gaslight Village Mobile Home Park that houses about 150 mobile homes. Attempts to reach representatives of Aspen Heights weren’t successful Tuesday, but the owner of the mobile home park said the project would be a benefit for the area.
“They have a good plan for the area,” said Tom Horner III, an officer for the Edwardsville-based company that owns the mobile home park. “I think it is going to be good for everyone, especially the city.”
Horner said his company hasn’t yet set any dates for tenants to be out of the park because a deal to sell the property to Aspen Heights is contingent upon the project receiving necessary city approval. Horner said residents of the mobile home park will be given more than two months’ notice before they’re required to leave, and he said there are mobile home parks in the city willing to help pay expenses to move the trailers into their developments.
According to documents filed at City Hall, the new project would be designed to be a “student residential community,” but plans call for it to be different from traditional apartment complexes. Instead of building a few large apartment buildings, the company is proposing to build about 200 house-like structures spread out on the 40-acre site. The development would include a mix of four-bedroom “cottages,” three-bedroom duplexes and two-bedroom duplexes. The plans also include a deck and pool area, a clubhouse and sports courts.
To build in Lawrence, the company is seeking to rezone the mobile home park from a single-family residential zoning district to RM-12, a multifamily zoning category that would allow 12 living units per acre. Both planning commissioners and city commissioners ultimately will need to approve the plans before the project can move forward.
The proposal is just the latest in a string of apartment developments that have targeted Lawrence. Construction currently is under way on a $28.5 million apartment project — called Hunter’s Ridge — that will add 300 apartments to the area near Sixth Street and Stoneridge Drive. Developers also are trying to win approvals for new one-bedroom apartments near Clinton Parkway and Crossgate Drive and loft apartments at Ninth and New Hampshire streets.