After a contentious debate that raised issues of safety, runaway growth and sustainability last fall, the city’s newest housing development â€“â€“ the Grove â€“â€“ is finally under construction.
Mounds of dirt and outbuildings currently sit on the site less than a mile south of the CSU main campus near Spring Creek.
And though construction on the 612-bed complex won’t be completed until around fall 2013, the North Carolina-based Campus Crest Communities group is breathing a collective sigh of relief as their project starts to finally come together.
â€œIt means a lot,â€ said Ted Rollins, CEO and co-founder of Campus Crest Communities, in an email to the Collegian, about finally breaking ground and moving forward on the project.
â€œThe process has been a learning experience and I want to personally thank all the members of the Fort Collins community for their valuable impact and feedback throughout the planning process,â€ he added.
The project ignited debate among residents, the city and university officials over land-use codes, public hearing procedures and the overall sustainability of the project before it was ultimately approved by the Fort Collins City Council during a marathon hearing last August.
â€œEvery time we decide to enter a market we strive to meet a triple bottom line where we aim to make a positive impact economically, socially and environmentally,â€ Rollins said. â€œWe believe we can accomplish this in Fort Collins.â€
Since city approval, all necessary paperwork has been filed, meeting all requirements, said Steve Olt, a Fort Collins city planner.
With this project finally on the ground, similar developments including Aspen Heights north of Old Town and the Choice Center behind Dairy Queen south of campus have come into the student-housing spotlight.
This modern view of affordable and sought after housing is something Chase Eckerdt, the director of Governmental Affairs for ASCSU says is a sure sign of progress, especially after a long and heated process with the Grove and neighboring residents.
Eckerdt was instrumental in working with students and the community to bring the new model to the Fort Collins community. He said he hopes this type development near CSU inspires others to break ground and provide responsible and quality student housing for the sake of the broader Fort Collins community.
â€œThe Grove is laying the framework,â€ he said. â€œIt sets the stage for future projects and sets the standard, I think, of high quality.â€
Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Development by the numbers
499 car parking spaces
294 bike parking spaces
Less than 1 mile from CSU
Near Spring Creek Trail
LEED Certification for sustainability