More student housing planned at YSU


By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A Youngstown State University trustees committee authorized the lease of nearly 2 acres between Lincoln and Wick avenues to an Akron company for a $10 million retail/student housing complex.

The Finance and Facilities Committee authorized President Jim Tressel at a meeting Thursday to execute the lease with LRC Realty.

Details such as the amount YSU will be paid for the lease of the 1.8-acre space must be determined and approved by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services since YSU is a state institution.

“We’re proposing a five-story building – the top four stories will be student housing, and the first floor will be retail,” said Kevin Fallon, LRC’s executive vice president for development.

Trustees Delores Crawford and Dr. Charles Bush and student Trustee Samantha Anderson weren’t at the meeting at the time of the vote, and James Greene was absent.

The remaining seven board members – Carole Weimer, trustee chairwoman; Dr. John Jakubek, Atty. Ted Roberts, Leonard Schiavone, Harry Meshel, David Deibel and student Trustee Bryce Miner – voted for the resolution.

The resolution must be approved by the full board, which meets Dec. 16.

In July, the university sent requests for proposals to developers for housing and retail use around campus, said Schiavone, committee chairman.

Three companies submitted proposals, he said, and LRC was asked to make a presentation.

If approved, the 163-bed apartment complex would open for occupancy in August 2017. It will be the second student-housing complex to open in two years.

Ground was broken in September for a $7.8 million complex called University Edge, which is being built on university-owned property on Rayen Avenue between Fifth and Belmont avenues by Hallmark Campus Communities of Columbus and Fortress Real Estate Co. of Atlanta. That’s a 162-bed facility and is expected to open in fall 2016.

“We saw a need for still additional housing for students,” Schiavone said.

The complex between Lincoln, Wick and Rayen avenues and North Phelps Street would include 15,000 square feet of retail space. Fallon said a similar facility at the University of Akron houses a Chipotle, Starbucks, Cricket Wireless and a university-themed T-shirt shop.

The developers expect the complex at YSU, which will be called The Enclave, to attract similar businesses.

Fallon said the building will include a fitness center and a rooftop deck for student residents.

Frank Licata, LRC president and a YSU graduate, said the company wants to be part of the momentum set at YSU by Tressel and trustees.

He believes there’s a demand for such a facility at the university. “We want to serve students, the faculty and the community,” Licata said.

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