SFA students looking for more residential options

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A landlocked university and students desiring to live off campus are changing how the properties near and around the Stephen F. Austin University are used.

Over the years residential property has become university property. Classrooms and special programs are conducted in once private homes. The university is the first to inquire when a for-sale sign is spotted nearby.

"It's proximity to the university makes it prime real estate for development and re-development in some cases, so I think we're going to really see that area transform over the next decade or so," said  Pam Fitch.

Commercial developers are also interested in the properties. Two new upscale apartment complexes are under development on north street across from SFA.

"And, of course, location is the key ingredient in it," said commercial developer Steve Ramshur.

Steve Ramshur moved to Nacogdoches from Humble. He saw how student housing could turn into a good business prospect. He still did his homework.

"We meet with the city before you even start development to see if the project is viable," said Ramshur.

Not all students' needs are met. One home, across from an industry and next door on one side to a parking lot, appears to be a perfect place for a fraternity house, but on the other side.

"Through the hedge line there you will see a  homeowner that's living right there, so you really do have to take into consideration the close proximity," said Fitch.

Planning and zoning wants city council to deny the request. A tough recommendation, but part of the responsibility of city planning.

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