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Student-focused Development in Flagstaff to Go Before Council

Mike Pilchner stands on a plot of land where developer Campus Advantage hopes to build a student housing complex. Pilchner and fellow neighbors of the Pinnacle Pines subdivision oppose the new development. Credit: Jake Bacon, Arizona Daily Sun

By Adrian Skabelund for Arizona Daily Star

Flagstaff City Council will be reviewing a newly proposed student-centered housing development planned for a piece of land at the southwest intersection of Lone Tree Road and J.W. Powell Boulevard at the Jan. 29 meeting.

The development, by the Austin, Texas based Campus Advantage, is planned for a 15.14-acre undeveloped parcel of land that is currently owned by Pine Canyon.

The development would consist of a 196-unit development split into a dozen or so buildings and totaling 702 beds, according to documents provided by the city.

In all, the buildings would total about 339KSF, with heights ranging from two, three and four stories.

The development would also include a clubhouse, study rooms, a fitness center, a dog park, a network of trails and pool.

At the moment, although being focused at students, Campus Advantage is planning on renting by the unit. However, the project summary states they may seek city approval to rent by the bed in the future.

The development has proven controversial with residents of the neighboring development, Pinnacle Pines, which borders the undeveloped land.

Michael Pilcher said one of his concerns is about the number of vehicles will park on his street if the development goes forward.

This is because, although the development meets the city’s parking standards, there are 541 parking spaces planned to service the 702 beds.

But given the development’s location, Pilcher said he believes most residents will need to use vehicles to go almost anywhere, with the nearest classrooms at Northern Arizona University being about one and a third miles away.

Campus Advantage said they could not comment, but some of the concerns are touched on by the development summary.

“The property is well situated for both Northern Arizona University and Coconino Community College students that utilize transit,” the project summary states. “Lone Tree provides direct access to both campuses for bikers and walkers; to supplement access to both CCC and NAU, Campus Advantage is currently evaluating inclusion of shuttle bus/van or other services to support student access to school as well as shopping and services in central Flagstaff to reduce automotive trips as well.”

The parcel is zoned for high-density residential, so the planned development fits as an approved use. But staff say the development will still need to go before council because it does not fit with the development plans the city agreed to with Pine Canyon.

The plan also refers to the multifamily development as condominiums at various points.

Read more at Arizona Daily Sun.

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