City Council Seeks Public Input on Student Housing

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is holding a Monday night meeting to discuss with the community the idea of three new student apartment projects near the University of Missouri campus. If approved, it could have developers paying for infrastructure costs.

Columbia Properties II, LLC, Opus Development Company, LLC and ACC OP Development, LLC want to build student housing that would total around 1,300 beds near campus. City leaders said the companies are willing to foot the bill for infrastructure. Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid said the city has reached its limits concerning sewage, energy and water needed for new development.

"These three housing proposals require a substantial increase in infrastructure that we currently don't have," said McDavid.

Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes said that is why the developers have offered to help pay more than they normally would for projects like this.

"They're going to pay for, or bill, one or the other, the infrastructure that's needed that we normally would have done in the past," Matthes said.

If passed, the first area where construction would begin is the south side of Conley Avenue between Fourth Street and Fifth Street. McDavid said the contractors have an April 1 deadline for financing reasons and if the council doesn't help them meet that, the contractors will take their business elsewhere.

Council will meet Monday and Wednesday to address any questions the public may have about the plans.