If one theory proves true, a proposed 630-bedroom student housing complex on Bloomington’s east side could effectively create more non-student housing.
Fountain Residential Partners, a boutique student housing development firm based out of Dallas, Texas, is looking to fill in the southwest corner of East Third Street and Ind. 446 with student housing. Allowed just 50 multi-family units, the petitioner is asking the Bloomington Plan Commission to permit as many as 250 units on a lot that’s been vacant for more than 40 years and wraps around Century Village.
“The truth is, if it’s built, they’re going to drive somebody else out of the student housing business. That’s the best way to get more housing,” commission President Joe Hoffmann said.
Hoffmann said new student complexes can drive older student housing properties out of business. If those older complexes can be transitioned into housing for non-students, the supply will rise and the cost of housing throughout the city will drop.
Ultimately, the 14-acre project would bring more than a dozen three- and four-story apartment buildings and townhomes to the city’s eastern corridor. If approved, the project could feature 60 efficiency units, 24 one-bedroom apartments, 108 four-bedroom townhomes and 29 four-bedroom apartments.
First, though, the petitioner is looking to alter the way the land is zoned to allow for first-floor residential units, additional commercial uses and more density.