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Plans filed for student apartment complex with more than 700 bedrooms near south Iowa Street


Get ready for the next boom in student apartment construction in Lawrence. We reported last month that plans have been filed at City Hall for an approximately 500-bedroom student apartment complex near Clinton Parkway and Crestline Drive. Now, plans for a more than 700-bedroom student apartment complex have been filed for a vacant piece of ground near south Iowa Street.

An Indiana-based company has filed plans to build a mix of town homes and duplexes — 98 buildings in all — on a large piece of vacant ground behind the Walmart at 33rd and Iowa streets. The project would be called The Collegiate at Lawrence, and definitely would be geared toward student housing.

“The request is being presented to fulfill the ever-increasing need for off-campus student housing for the University of Kansas,” according to the application filed at City Hall by Lawrence-based CFS Engineers, which is serving as a local agent for the Indiana development group.

The project would be a big one. The proposed site is 27 acres. It stretches from just south of The Connection at Lawrence — another student housing complex — all the way to the South Lawrence Trafficway. In some ways, thank the SLT project for spurring this development. The site became more accessible after a new street — Michigan Street — was built south of 31st Street as part of the SLT project.

Plans have been filed to build a 700-bedroom student apartment complex on this undeveloped piece of land directly east of Walmart at 33rd and Iowa streets, pictured Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. The project, which is being called The Collegiate at Lawrence would sit on the 27-acre site, which is bordered by the South Lawrence Trafficway, at left and bottom, and Michigan Street, at right.

Plans have been filed to build a 700-bedroom student apartment complex on this undeveloped piece of land directly east of Walmart at 33rd and Iowa streets, pictured Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. The project, which is being called The Collegiate at Lawrence would sit on the 27-acre site, which is bordered by the South Lawrence Trafficway, at left and bottom, and Michigan Street, at right. by Nick Krug

Plans call for the following types of apartments:

— 126 four-bedroom units

— 30 three-bedroom units

— 76 two-bedroom units

— 38 one-bedroom units

That’s a total of 784 bedrooms that would be added to the Lawrence rental market. Plans call for the development to have several amenities too. They include a clubhouse and pool area, a disc golf course, a sand volleyball pit and a soccer field.

The plans show what a few of the buildings would look like. The plans also show a general layout of the complex.

Renderings by KJG Architecture. Courtesy: City of Lawrence.

Renderings by KJG Architecture. Courtesy: City of Lawrence. by Chad Lawhorn

Courtesy: CFS Engineers/City of Lawrence

Courtesy: CFS Engineers/City of Lawrence by Chad Lawhorn

Courtesy: CFS Engineers/City of Lawrence

Courtesy: CFS Engineers/City of Lawrence by Chad Lawhorn

As for the company behind all of this, Trinitas Ventures LLC out of Lafayette Ind. is listed as the developer. According to its website, the company has been in the student housing business since 2002, when it started building complexes to serve Purdue University. The company now owns or manages about 3,500 student housing beds but is expanding rapidly. The company has 5,500 student housing beds under construction for opening in 2018-2019.

The company has complexes in many of the major college communities across the country, including near the University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, University of Indiana, University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska, University of North Carolina and others. This would be the company’s only property in Kansas.

At the moment, it looks like the project has most of the major approvals it needs to build in Lawrence. The vacant property already is zoned for apartment construction, which means the project won’t have to win zoning approval from the Planning Commission and the City Commission. It will have to win several approvals for site layout and other technical specifications from the planning department.

There’s also one other interesting fact about the project. There’s a group of people who probably are rooting for the project to succeed that you wouldn’t guess: teachers and state employees in Utah. The vacant piece of ground is actually owned by the investment fund of the Utah Retirement System. That’s perhaps more common than you think. While we are still a small town at heart, there are investment funds from all over the country that own commercial property in Lawrence.


Richard Heckler 6 months, 1 week ago

Big out of state developers coming to Lawrence must have heard Lawrence is an easy YES YES YES complete with tax dollar handouts and no enforcement of site plans.

Chris Ogle 6 months, 1 week ago

I didn't read anything about city handouts. To me, that is very refreshing. If they want to invest/gamble with private funds, and meet city compliance standards..... then more power to them. Who knows, it may create taxable income for the city. Am I missing something?

Michael Kort 6 months, 1 week ago

Is the basic infrastructure already there to handle 1,200 new apartments of daily use ?

1,200 air conditioners, gas for furnaces and dryers or electric for dryers and heat pumps, , water for toilets, clothes washers and tubs / shower use.....and how about existing sanitary sewer capacity ?

Obviously, water run off or retention pond issues will need to be planned for by the city as these sites are no longer going to hold back rain when covered with parking lots and lots of new roofs .

It is their money and they can build as they wish to risk it......like losing it to the established landlords who could undercut their brand new unit overhead built in rents .

Just hope that there are no costly surprises to be funded by the city later on for infrastructure or to bail out anything .

If you build it and they truly somehow bring new ( instead of retread renters ), can that part of town absorbe say 1,200 or more new human utility users ? Just wondering ?

Tony Peterson 6 months, 1 week ago

One step closer toward converting Lawrence into a bedroom community.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

? Lawrence is a bedroom community for the most part? Or was that a joke?

Andy Craig 6 months, 1 week ago

My dream is to one day live in an apartment with a view of the back of a Walmart...

Carol Bowen 6 months, 1 week ago

Of course, there's no plan for Louisiana Street to handle the extra traffic. Most of the students will have cars., and, statistically, each driver would make ten trips a day. Here's a loose and conservative estimate:

784 beds ->~500 drivers, ~6 trips per day on Louisiana Street, 500x6=3000 trips. All of this traffic would use the Louisiana and 23rd Street traffic light. (A few drivers would use Iowa Street. )

When the first complex was presented to the city commission, they stated that the students would use Iowa Street, not Louisiana Street. Of course, that's not what happened. H2020 discusses street capacity for new development, but no one takes it seriously. The Planning Department should be workng with the Transportation Department.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

Maybe they will finally put a light at 31st and Louisiana, but Louisiana is already a high traffic street and many houses are pretty close to the street. What are they going to to do to ease the traffic?

Franz Bruyere 6 months, 1 week ago

And also, what about the schools there at Broken Arrow? How is this increased traffic going to affect parents and students?

Franz Bruyere 6 months, 1 week ago

I know that I've only been in Lawrence for abut 3 years but (IMHO) aren't there enough, no MORE than enough places for students to live? Why did they add and/or replace dorms on campus?

This town needs more 'affordable' (and not by City Halls' standard for affordable) housing for couples and families, not students. The only real way for Lawrence to grow and become better is to bring in 'normal' residents that will lay down roots and stay.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

These companies are catering to students whose families have a lot of money. These students have never has to share a bedroom. They have never done laundry in a laundromat.

Now, you would think that these apartment buildings would force the rent of converted houses, with no laundry, down, making them affordable for poorer students and poor families but it's not working that way. It's not about just making a profit, it's about making more and more profit.

Many rentals used to be owned by local residents, some good landlords, some not. But now we have large companies who have a monopoly on rentals. They have more than one investor, which means these investors all want a profit, which is understandable. But if their return doesn't grow by leaps and bounds every year, they want out. They know people need housing, so they just keep raising the rent higher and higher.

Franz Bruyere 6 months, 1 week ago

To me, this is just like Venture Park... it is only zoned for industrial but what about allowing housing to the east of Lawrence? We really don't have any that are more convenient for people who work in Kansas City, etc. to live in.

David Holroyd 6 months, 1 week ago

I would think that this site would be more suitable for Senior, Retirees who are flocking to Lawrence. It is near Walmart, a post office restuarants, shopping a Home Depot and a Menards.

It could have golf cart paths to the stores..after all Lawrence is a Retirement Destination.

Student Housing? Really, when HERE is not 100% occupied, they did admit to renting air B&B..so they must not be filled and then, just how much has KU enrollment increased?

Journal World do your homework and present numbers. KU is building new dorms and they will FILL those if they have to give the rooms away.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed talks about poor students. She is out of touch... just how may poor students does she think KU has?

Really Dorothy!

Deborah Snyder 6 months, 1 week ago

Back OFF, Holdroyd. Nobody, especially YOU, gets to bully or put down community activists and longtime residents like her. Unlike yeeou, Hoyt-Reed is NOT out-of-touch, and there are, IN FACT, a solid portion of students showing up at Just Food, as well as grocery trash-diving, and walking LONG DISTANCES to get from one place to another.

I've seen it, bucko, and fed and driven them at times as well. WATCH your tone of voice when addressing her, or her posts.

Deborah Snyder 6 months, 1 week ago

All righty... I lost my temper, and I apologize for my angry responses to Mr. Holroyd's provocation against Ms. Hoyt-Reed.

David Holroyd 6 months, 1 week ago

Deborah, just how much in touch are you? Really now. what is the current enrollment at KU and what is the average dorm cost and/or apt rent? You work at KU,,,do you know any really poor students? How many out of the total enrollment.

Mrs. Hoyt Reed and you, by the way complain about the high cost of housing but you DO NOT want to tackle the reasons for the high taxes..Maybe it is because KU and the governmental bodies do not pay property taxes but the burden falls on those employed in the private sector.

Glad I have an option to opt out soon and let the burden continue to be carried by those who soon will realize they cannot afford Lawrence.

And as for the "convention" center..Who in their right mind would build with all that junk along the river, including City Hall. Bulldoze it.

The name is Holroyd,,,but I don't mind intellectuals not being able to look it up.

Lawrence needs provocation....actually many in Lawrence need a vacation to take them to places they have never been and then back to what is becoming a middle of the road city...

Community activists are a dime a dozen and just how long might you think I have been around Lawrence,,probably longer than you for certain and even Dorothy..

Activists....what a title. accomplishing little to nothing.

Michael Kort 6 months ago

Let'em build, let'em build, let'em build..........La,La,La,.......because if supply and demand are truly related to rental prices (?) then rents will either......drop..... or hold more steady ?

Well, who knows ?.......but my Ouija Board says that these new apartments will be a pro tenant thing, if seen in the context of how many units are available for rent vs the money and individuals chasing them .

Again, my questions unanswered, are about newly developed land and "surface water drainage from roof and parking lots", the availability of water for home use and fire protection, sewer, gas, electricity and if anyone (?) has a reasonable traffic control plan for all of the new (?) traffic going to and from these two apartment sites daily, to be built .

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