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Developers plan 800-bed student complex in Glen Arthur neighborhood

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A proposed 800-bed student housing development would occupy two blocks north of the Harris Teeter on 14 Street. The Greenville Board of Adjustment will consider the measure Thursday, Jan. 25.

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By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Greenville’s Board of Adjustment on Thursday is scheduled to consider a request to build another large student apartment complex, this one to be located in the Glen Arthur neighborhood off of West 14th Street near the Harris Teeter, according to the board’s agenda.

The 804-bed, dormitory-style development would be built on an about four acres bordered by Charles Boulevard, 14th, 13th and Cotanche streets, according to plans submitted to the board. The City Council rezoned the property last year to allow for multi-family development.

The adjustment board must approve a special-use permit for dormitory housing, which allows for four bedroom units to house more than three unrelated tenants. The board’s decision is final and not subject to review by the City Council. The board meets at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 200 W. Fifth St.

The development, which has been recommended for approval by city staff, would displace about two dozen single-family homes and a church building and sit at the southeast corner of a multi-block residential area composed mostly of tree-lined streets and established single-family and duplex homes, many of which are rental units.

It would sit directly north of the Harris Teeter and across Charles Boulevard from the Province student complex. It would occupy the lot of the now closed Jolly Roger Food Mart. Residents would access the complex from Cotanche and 13th Streets. The intersection of Charles Boulevard and 14th Street is among the city’s busiest and one of five where the city installed red light cameras.

The request comes at a time when several new student housing complexes are planned or under construction and existing developments are experiencing higher-than-average vacancy rates, according to a recent study commissioned by the city. The council this month voted against taking any action based on the study, citing confidence that the market could regulate itself.

The new complex would contain 294 units including 31 one-bedroom units, 118 two-bedroom, 43 three-bedroom, and 102 four-bedroom units, totaling to 804 bed spaces. The complex will have at least 653 parking spaces, according to the plan. The special-use permit was requested by Dewitt Carolinas, a Raleigh-based development firm.

Most of the lots that make up the property are owned by a pair of Greenville limited liability partnerships, Glen Arthur LLC and Crones LLC. According to state records, Glen Arthur is managed by George Beaman, Gregory and Stephen Everette, Max Joyner Jr. and Mark Owens III. Crones is managed by Roy Lee Fulcher Jr. and Max Joyner Jr. 

Several other new developments are proposed or under construction, including The Eastern on 10th (formerly Campus Edge), a 690-bed complex across from main campus at Charles Street, and College View, a 432-bed development east of campus on 10th Street. Two high rise developments also are under construction downtown, University Edge-Dickinson Lofts and Gather Uptown, which together are expected to have 817 beds.

The Retreat, a 656-bed complex, is proposed for Charles Boulevard south of campus near Fire Tower Road. That project was initially denied by the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission but currently is under appeal.

The occupancy study conducted by the Kimley-Horn consultant company for the city showed that the market for student housing is already saturated, with an aggregate vacancy rate at student-targeted communities of 11.6 percent — equal to about 1,276 empty beds.

The report said another 1,930 beds are under construction, not including those to be added by the Retreat and the Glen Arthur development. Meanwhile, demand for beds in the next 10 years was expected to increase by just 1,765 beds., according to the study.

A recent private market study shared among existing complexes and obtained by The Daily Reflector mirrors results of the Kimley-Horn work. It says that among 17 student complexes currently leasing, only five had filled more than 50 percent of their units for 2018-19. Seven were below 30 percent. It also showed that 11 have rented fewer units than they had this time last year.

ATHLETIC COMPLEX

The adjustment board also is scheduled to consider a proposal by John Paul II Catholic High School to build a large athletic complex in a 26-acre field next to the school on East 14th Street Extension currently used for faming purposes. 

A special-use permit would allow the school to proceed with plans to build a 354-seat gymnasium, a football field and track complex with seating for 400, a 150-seat baseball field, 100-seat softball field and a soccer field, according to the plan

The complex also would include a large parking lot, the plan indicates. The the facility would be accessible from Quail Ridge Road, not 14th Street.

The property is located in the 2800 block East 14th Street between Quail Ridge and Planter’s Walk subdivisions, north of Fire Tower Road. The site would be developed in conjunction with the high school, which purchased and renovated a church building next to the site.

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