Columbia residents provide input on North Columbia apartment proposal

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COLUMBIA – Columbia may receive another apartment complex, but this one would not be for students. Columbia residents voiced their opinions a proposal on Tuesday about a possible new development north of Vandiver Dr. near Highway 63.

Arkansas-based RUM Inc. wants to build a 304 unit complex called "Centerstate Apartments" on the 36.37 acre site west of Woodward Dr. and south of Pioneer Dr. The proposal calls for 176 one-bedroom apartments and 128 two-bedroom units. The units would be spread over 19 two story buildings, each containing four units. The proposal also includes three lots for future commercial development.

According to Brian Harrington of Allstate Consultants, the firm representing RUM Inc., the proposed apartments' price point will be market driven. Students are not the target demographic. 

According to city planner and case manager Steve MacIntyre, the main concerns of residents have been traffic related, especially on Vandiver Dr. and Pioneer Dr. 

"We have been contacted by several residents, mostly from adjoining or nearby residential neighborhoods to the north and west of this development site, expressing concerns about potential impacts related to traffic and other access concerns," MacIntire said.

There is no current timetable for the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission to hold an official hearing and make its official recommendation to the Columbia City Council on the prosed apartments.

"The applicant has identified a couple of issues outside of this specific review process, which they would like to coordinate their review and approval process with, so at this point the project is going to be delayed until the applicant has sorted out those tertiary issues and notifies us that it's time to proceed forward with public hearings," MacIntire said.

Tuesday's meeting was the second public information meeting on the proposal.