City to vote on potential West Campus apartment building

AddThis

A new 20-unit apartment complex may come to the West Campus area next year if the city approves it on Monday.

Developer Sudhakar Allada said his four-story apartment complex, AVON @22, would be located at 911 W. 22nd St. and have about 60 bedrooms with two affordable housing units. On Monday, the city’s Board of Adjustment will look over the project’s plans and determine if it follows the city’s land development code for West Campus. 

“There’s a need for high-density student housing in the West Campus area,” Allada said. “It’s only a few blocks away from campus.”

Allada said the apartment will have an open garage area on the ground floor and only needs eight parking spaces because of its proximity to campus. 

Chemical engineering junior Ali Modak, who lives in the Castilian, said West Campus housing options are scarce.

“Getting housing in West Campus is a lot harder now because you have to apply really early for housing,” Modak said. “If they build one more skyscraper like the Castilian, I feel like that would help because there would be a lot of people living in one building. You won’t have multiple houses taking up so much space.”

Allada also said his apartment’s residents could use additional parking near 1909 San Gabriel St. with the permission of the owner. Last month, Allada proposed his plan to the city’s Board of Adjustment. The board postponed voting on his plan it until Monday to give him more time to ensure the San Gabriel Street parking area is available.

Allada said rent would be about $850 to $900 per bedroom and two of the 20 housing units will be affordable housing. Affordable housing is for families who make a certain percentage less than the median family income. 

Geology freshman Thomas Quintero, who will live in Grand Marc in West Campus next semester, said he and his friend will pay $1,500 to share a bedroom.

“West Campus prices are pretty ridiculous,” Quintero said. “Something that needs to be preserved are places like Riverside, where it’s a fraction of the price, even though it’s a little bit further away.”

West Campus falls within the University Neighborhood Overlay, an area zoned specifically for more student housing options with specific guidelines developers must follow. Architecture professor Jake Wegmann said the UNO concentrates student housing into the West Campus area so those living to the north and east of campus do not feel encroached upon.

“All these neighborhoods surrounding the University are under some pressure because it’s lucrative for developers to knock down small houses and put up student housing,” Wegmann said. ”People were upset by this and thought it was destabilizing their neighborhoods and making them less family friendly.”

Quintero said developments in West Campus drive competition, but many students are moving to Riverside because it is more affordable and less dense. 

“With the upcoming gentrification and moving minorities out of the downtown Austin area, places like Riverside are going to become like West Campus with these crazy high prices,” Quintero said.