The developers behind a planned project near The University of Texas at Dallas campus are looking to add more student housing.

During a May 21 Richardson City Plan Commission meeting, officials approved changes to the planned development that would change the timeline for building the project and make apartment developments on the property geared toward students.

“[When this was proposed], we were trying to provide a mix of housing, not realizing how much student housing demand there is, and there’s a ton,” said Maxwell Fisher, founder and president at project developer ZoneDev, which represents project owners George Bush Highway Investment LLC and Affordable Space Rental 2018 LLC, at the meeting.

What you need to know

When the more than 13-acre development, located between Waterview Parkway and the President George Bush Turnpike, was first approved by Richardson City Council in December 2022, plans included one 171-unit apartment building purpose-built for student housing and another 340-unit apartment building that was intended to be market rate.

With the approved changes from the CPC, which have yet to go before City Council, the five-story, 340-unit market-rate building will now also be built for student housing. While the number of units is expected to decrease to 173, the amount of beds would increase from 450 to 534 within one-, two- and four-bedroom units. Five live-work units planned in the building would decrease their footprint from 13,500 square feet to a little more than 8,000 square feet.

“There’s already no available housing on campus," said Michael Augustine, co-managing partner at project developer Alta Terra, at the meeting. "They’re not even accepting applications right now due to the overwhelming wait list that they have."

Because the building is also planned to contain restaurant and retail space, developers on the project, which include BGE and Alta Terra, are planning to construct that first. At the meeting, Fisher said the move will make it easier to attract investors for future development on the project, which also include a hotel, dog park, and playground among other things.

What else?

The planned project is just north of the proposed 36-acre Points at Waterview development, which is being developed by Wolverine Interests and was approved by City Council in September.

That development includes nearly 3,000 residential units along with office space, retail and restaurant space, hotels, and an event space. Plans also include a green space encircling the project.

The context

As of 2023, UT Dallas had around 8,200 beds on or near campus, Calvin Jamison, vice president for facilities and economic development at the university, previously told Community Impact. The university is expected to add more than 4,200 students to its population by 2030. Jamison said about 10,000 units would likely be needed for future student body growth.

Developers on the project said the change from market-rate to student-focused housing would help meet demand in the market, adding that more market-rate apartment projects have been approved by City Council in the last year and a half.

“Because of the demand and because of inflation, ... rents have gone up 10%, and that’s just the sign for what the demand for student housing is in this market,” Augustine said.

Proposed changes are expected to go before City Council on June 10. If approved, Augustine said they expect to break ground in about a year.