New off-campus housing planned

By Cami Stump

UK Students may have a new option for off-campus housing in the fall of 2013.

Hallmark Campus Communities, based in Columbus, Ohio, is coming to Lexington to construct a new 832-bed complex.

The former Tattersalls site will be part of the 10-acre complex facing South Broadway.

James H. Frazier III, a Lexington attorney representing Hallmark, said a principal partner in the project also worked on Newtown Crossing and other housing projects in Lexington.

The complex, which Hallmark plans to begin construction on in 2012, will consist of four four-story buildings and will boast more amenities than other complexes in Lexington to date, Frazier said.

“The complex isn’t going to have normal amenities,” he said. “Everything will be more upscale than we’ve seen thus far.”

The amenities will include a pool, work-out facilities, outdoor volleyball and basketball courts, and a clubhouse.

Jason Wulfeck, a marketing senior who lives at the Lex, said that the amenities are the best part about living at off-campus complexes.

“It’s so nice to have the luxuries of home,” he said. “Having a pool and all the other facilities in the complex is so convenient.”

Frazier said keeping up with the other complexes available to students is necessary to compete in the off-campus student housing market.

A natural progression of improvements will be offered at the newest available housing complex in the area, he said.

“It’s going to have a ‘new toy’ aspect,” he said. ‘’But it will match up in price point with other complexes in the area.”

Wulfeck agreed that the pricing of these units will be important.

“Off-campus housing is expensive,” he said. “There’s no way college students would be looking to pay even more, even with more amenities, especially when options like Newtown, the Lex and 524 are still going to be available to them.”

Frazier said that even with new and high quality amenities, Hallmark will have to keep housing costs comparable to other student options or they will price themselves out of the market.

The Red Mile site will have an advantage in the area with easier access to campus, Frazier said.

“One reason that Hallmark was selected for this project is because of the access they already had to the Newtown bridge from working on the Newtown Crossing complex,” Frazier said. “The ability for students to park at the complex and walk to campus with such convenience is a huge selling point for the location.”

Tony Blanton, director of off-campus student services, said 22,000 students at UK currently live off campus.

Blanton said it is imprtant for students to have several good housing options available to them, and it looks like Hallmark is trying to ensure that they do.

“The market will determine whether new housing is needed in any particular area,” Blanton said in an email to the Kernel. “However, it is always good to see new, safe housing built near campus.”