The Lincoln City Council recently approved a new downtown housing project — where apartments made for four will be built on top of a city parking garage.
There was much talk at the council about whether the apartments were too targeted at college students and likely to become party central. The council went ahead and approved the project, but I was intrigued by a belated letter on the matter.
Michelle Waite, representing UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman, wrote a letter saying UNL decided to support the project “after thorough and deliberative discussion on campus despite our concerns about the option of offering additional student housing in close proximity to campus.”
She noted that UNL has invested more than $200 million in the past decade to renovate and build student housing, and said research indicates the longer a student lives on campus, the more likely they’ll succeed as a student.
“On balance, we have decided to support this project although would respectfully respect that the city take into consideration our interest if another private student housing development would arise and carefully deliberate issues that may be indirectly affected by such a development.”
Translation: Next time please consult us first.
She ended the letter with, “The University of Nebraska-Lincoln would likely not be comfortable with additional developments of this nature.”
Hmmmm… in other words, we don’t really like this project, but we’ll go along with it this time. But next time, don’t expect us to be so amenable.
Probably doesn’t hurt that the developers are WRK and Woodbury — 2015 Visioners and UNL’s partners on the Arts & Humanities project in the Haymarket.