In the next few weeks, work is scheduled to begin on another new apartment complex near Georgia Southern University. The Grove in Statesboro is going to be built on a very large parcel in the Market District development behind the Market District Center, home of McAlister's Deli and Blount, Burke, Wimberly, and Hendricks Insurors among others.
The developer of the Grove in Statesboro is Campus Crest Communities, a national real estate developer of college housing, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dan Norman, vice president of development for Campus Crest said, “Georgia Southern is a fantastic school. We’re excited about being a part of the Georgia Southern and Statesboro community.”
The project is slated for completion next summer in time for Georgia Southern's 2009 Fall semester. The property will have eight residential buildings and one clubhouse. The complex is designed to house 512 students.
"We will have a mix of two bed-two bath units and three bed-three bath units," said Emily Manning, manager, underwriting and finance for Campus Crest. "All bedrooms have a private bathroom and walk-in closet. The units come fully furnished and also include a washer and dryer."
Like other complexes built in the last few years, the Grove will bundle cable, internet, and a utility allowance in its basic rental fee. Manning said the amenities package will include controlled access gates, a Harvard-style library, a tavern-like game room, coffee bar, swimming pool, 24 hour fitness center, tanning booths, basketball and volleyball courts, and fire pit and barbeque area.
Manning said there are a couple of things that make her company's student housing complexes unique.
"We develop, construct and manage all of our properties," she said. "There is great synergy created between all facets of our company which trickles down to the resident experience. We sweat the details. Our property management company is focused on creating a sense of community. We invest heavily in our student lifestyle programming and amenity package so our residents have a safe, fun place to live."
Four large apartment complexes have been built in close proximity to Georgia Southern's campus in the last four years alone. Estimates by local property managers place the number of student beds currently available through apartments, duplexes, townhomes, and rental houses well in excess of 10,000. Many local residents wonder just how many more apartment complexes can be supported by Georgia Southern students.
"I can't address the economics of apartment development, but I can address the availability of land for apartment construction," said Jim Shaw, director of planning for the city of Statesboro. "Land has to be zoned R-4 to qualify for that type of development. The R-4 designation allows for multifamily, high density construction, in other words, apartments."
"Right now, other than the Grove/Campus Crest development, there is really only one parcel near Georgia Southern that qualifies in both size and zoning," he said. "Other than that, a developer would have to seek property that is in the county and have it annexed into the city so that the development could access city water and sewer services. Those complexes have to have water and sewer."
Undaunted by the competition, the developers of the Grove in Statesboro are confident that the demand for new, student housing will remain strong.
"Georgia Southern University is a great school with a great student body which is projected to continue its growth in the coming years," Manning said. "We are excited about our location with respect to campus and retail options. Additionally, we have two other locations in Georgia (Milledgeville and Carrollton), and Statesboro fits in extremely well with our current footprint."
Manning also said that the company has a division that will serve as the general contractor for construction of the complex, however, local assistance in construction will be sought.
"We will be using local vendors for materials and as well as construction subcontractors," she said. "We will be announcing contact information in the near future for those interested in working with us."
Manning said that pre-leasing efforts will begin in the late Fall. "We will be hiring several students to be part-time leasing agents in the coming weeks," she said.
To learn more about the apartment complexes in the Campus Crest family of developments, go to their website, www.gogrove.com.
An artist’s rendering of The Grove apartment complex is shown above. The project is located in the Market District area is slated to open next fall with 512 two and three bedroom units.