Monday 26 May 2014

Housing constraints

You'd usually think it would be much harder to put up new student housing at a University with a downtown campus than one out in the suburbs where land is cheaper.

The Herald reports plans for almost 500 new student dorm rooms near Auckland University. A commercial property company is putting a site to market with plans either for student dorms, or for office towers. The dorm version would come with parking for 75 cars.

The University of Canterbury has been working on plans for more accommodation on its Dovedale campus, the former teacher's college near the main Ilam campus. The Press reported back in April:
Ilam Upper Riccarton Residents Association spokeswoman Jane Tyler-Gordon said residents were concerned about how the Dovedale site would be developed and were "up in arms" when the university revealed it had plans for a 250-student accommodation hall."What people don't want to see is a student village with a pub in the middle and loud music," she said.
I don't know what's now going on with the Dovedale site. I have the impression that the University is substantially constrained by veto rights that the neighbours seem to have over the place, but that could of course be wrong and I do not purport to speak for the University.

But I do not imagine that plans for residence towers with about 500 student dorm rooms would be well received. At 75 car parks for 500 rooms, I can imagine neighbours complaining that students would park on "their" streets. If there were more on-site parking, the neighbours would complain instead about congestion and about stormwater runoff's effects on neighbouring streams. If there were student amenities on-site, like a pub, the neighbours would complain of loud students. If there were not, the neighbours would complain of students parading to and from the bars at Church Corner. Basically, anything that involves there being more students around the University will get them angry, and especially if the students behave like students.

1 comment:

  1. It does help that any residents in the vicinity are themselves living in tower blocks -- and are likely students themselves. That's not a residential neighbourhood even in the urban sense; the census meshblock had 108 residents, all of whom were under 25.

    A well-constructed modern building on that site would be a great place to live. However, since it's right next to the motorway junction and access to the port, a poorly constructed building would be awful.