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New housing complex in the works

Mari Johnson

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Construction on a new, $41 million student housing complex is set to begin on the former site of the Delaware Jackson public housing complex between DCH Regional Medical Center and the University of Alabama campus.

Scheduled to open in 2012, the community will include 774 beds within 337 units in a variety of studios, with up to four-bedroom apartments. Each apartment will be fully furnished, with private bathrooms and bedrooms, a full kitchen and a washer and dryer.

Partnering with Education Realty Trust, a student housing development company that owns or manages 57 similar complexes at universities in 27 states, ranging from California to Virginia, The Edwards Companies of Ohio teamed up with them to buy out the Delaware Jackson public housing for $10.4 million dollars.

The buildings will be three and five stories, with a variety of structured and surface parking. The complex will also feature a clubhouse that will include a movie theatre, state-of-the-art fitness center, study space, game lounge and other amenities. The grounds of the complex will feature a large swimming pool with an outdoor patio, complete with grills and a picnic area.

In a previous statement, Susan Jennings, spokeswoman for Education Realty Trust of Memphis, Tenn., said each complex is built to conform to the surroundings of the university it’s meant to serve, be it a rural setting or an urban one.

The Tuscaloosa complex will be given the same treatment, she said.

“We create collegiate housing across the country,” she said. “What we create in California, what we create in Alabama – they’re all going to have a different personality because all the campuses have a different personality.”

According to the Edwards Companies, they strive to provide development and design build services for the project, which will be owned jointly by the two companies. Education Realty Trust, as the majority owner and managing member of the joint venture, will manage the community upon completion.

The joint venture secured a conventional construction loan through Regions Bank to fund the project. With the approval of the Tuscaloosa City Council, re-zoning is set for June 21 to clear the way for construction.

“We are excited to break ground in Tuscaloosa and contribute to the rebirth of this campus after the devastating storms earlier this year,” said Randy Churchey, president and chief executive officer of Education Realty Trust.


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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894
New housing complex in the works