Council Approves Apartment Building Geared for UVa Students

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

January 22, 2013

Charlottesville City Council approved an apartment complex on West Main Street.

Council approved a special use permit for 1000 West Main Street.

The Planning Commission had supported the project at its meeting earlier in January, with stipulations including a traffic study, airflow study, and reducing the number of four-bedroom units by 25 percent.

Council changed the provisions, the biggest change removing the need to reduce the four-bedroom apartments by 25 percent, and instead asking that the apartments be distributed more evenly throughout the building.

Councilors disagreed on whether the apartment building, targeted at UVa students, helped or hurt the community.

Councilor Bob Fenwick asked if seniors could rent apartments there.

"Absolutely," replied Stephen Bus, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for the builder Campus Acquisitions (CA)." We've had it happen."

Councilor Dede Smith disliked the 101 foot height and 648-bedroom capacity of the complex.

"It's too dense. It's too high," said Smith. "I'm offended that the appurtenance is used to put another story on the building. I'm just offended by a lot of the twists and turns that have enabled this to come into our historic maintstream."

Szakos, Huja, and Galvin felt the complex would help lower the prices of apartments in the city and pull students away from renting houses.

"When you increase supply, prices go down, and we're starting to see that," said Councilor Kathy Galvin. "[That] the units are becoming competitively priced does mean that we have a stock of housing left in our neighborhoods that could, quite honestly, possibly revert back to single family, detached homes."

Council passed the permit 3 to 2. Fenwick and Smith voted against it.

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