05 Nov New Housing Projects A Result Of Master Plan at Texas State
06.13.13 — New apartment complexes are constantly being built around San Marcos, and Texas State’s growth and demand for student housing are able to fill hundreds of additional bedrooms each year.
There are currently eight multi-family housing projects under construction and 13 under consideration for future development, according to a May status report released by the city. The projects include expansions to existing apartments and the construction of new housing complexes. Most apartments in San Marcos that opened last fall or will open this fall have pre-leased more than half of their units, according to their leasing representatives.
Matthew Lewis, director of planning and development services, said the occupancy rate of existing apartments in San Marcos is high.
Vickie Pustka, leasing manager for Copper Beech, a townhome community on Mill Street, said the complex has pre-leased 87.85 percent of its units or about 1,088 of 1,238 bedrooms for the upcoming semester.
The Vistas Apartments, a new student apartment complex located on North Fredericksburg St. slated to open fall 2013, has pre-leased about 479 of 532 bedrooms, 90 percent of its units for the fall, according to leasing manager Amanda Kamenoff.
The Village on Telluride currently has a 66 percent of its units filled, or 335 of 508 of the new bedrooms built in the last phase of expansion, said leasing manager Melissa Konstancer.
Lewis said there is a need to create a diversity of housing complexes for the community that are “long-term, good investments” because of the university’s trends in growth and plans for expansion.
Lewis said the city had to play catch-up instead of being ahead of the curve in terms of housing because of the outdated city Comprehensive Master Plan.
“Rather than being reactive to the growth as we have been, we are trying to plan for the growth appropriately,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the newly completed Comprehensive Master Plan will give San Marcos a clear direction in how growth should occur in the city.
Lewis said the main reason the multi-family market is coming to San Marcos is to largely fill Texas State’s student housing needs.
John Foreman, planning manager for the City of San Marcos, said multi-family projects aimed at students are typically on similar construction time schedules to be completed for the fall semester each year.
“We had that last year with The Retreat and the last phase of Aspen Heights (now Village on Telluride),” Foreman said.
“This year it will happen with The Avenue Apartments, Vistas Apartments and several others.”
Foreman said the number of multi-family projects in San Marcos is higher than that of other cities of the same size, but the number is comparable to other towns with universities.
Foreman said since the majority of San Marcos developments in the last few years have been multi-family housing, this leads to a culture of people who are renting and not owning homes. Foreman said this has resulted in San Marcos’ “fairly low” home ownership rate of 25 percent.
Lewis said a recent community survey showed some San Marcos residents believe multi-family developments are “happening too fast” and want the city to address the issue.
However, Foreman said there is a definite growth in the populations of average college-age and nontraditional students, but there are also more families moving into the city as well. He said this creates a need for more apartments that will only be met by making more housing available.
“Typically, when you see growth in multi-family development it is in response to some kind of a demand,” Foreman said.
“Obviously, there is a demand for new residential dwellings.”