Texas State University has purchased two apartment buildings in downtown San Marcos to house an additional 1,086 students.

The Vistas and Sanctuary Lofts were acquired by TXST in December, and the university took over management of the properties in January. The $151 million purchase of the two properties was cheaper per-square-foot than building new dormitories, according to Bill Mattera, executive director of housing and residential life at TXST.

“The goal is just to offer more affordable housing for students and really lower the rates of these properties,” Mattera said.

The big picture

He said that the growth of the freshman class over the past few years has caused a shortage in campus housing.

“Rents have increased by 40% in the San Marcos market, [TXST] has increased by 11%,” Mattera said. “And so it's an opportunity to set up some affordable housing close to campus, but of the apartment variety.”

About 90% of the property is already occupied by TXST students, but any occupant of The Vistas or Sanctuary Lofts that is not currently a student will be able to stay until the end of their lease but not have the ability to renew.

A closer look

Currently, the proposed rates for the apartments are between $8,000- $11,000 at The Vistas per 10-month lease—or $800-$1,100 per month—and range from $8,500-$11,500 at Sanctuary Lofts with a 10-month housing lease. The Board of Regents will vote to approve the rates at a meeting on Feb. 22-23.

“These are physically adjacent to campus, they make really good sense for us to have in our inventory,” Mattera said. “We continue to want to partner with the city and the community to develop other student housing that is available to all of our students.”