Commute to Arlington? Developer Wants You to Move In

Development hopes to shed Arlington's bedroom community reputation

A proposed apartment complex near the University of Texas at Arlington would target professionals who commute to Arlington.

Lev Investments has proposed building a 335-unite multifamily apartment complex between Center and Mesquite streets just south of Mitchell Street that would replace the Center Court Apartments, Center Oaks Apartments and Appleton Square Apartments.

Steve Drenner, Lev Investments' attorney, said the units would be like nothing else currently offered in Arlington.

"There would be no surface parking," he said. "The units would wrap a parking garage in the center."

The development would include such features as a clubhouse, rooftop patio. It would be located just a few hundred yards from UTA's mixed-use College Park District, which is currently being built and will offer a mix of residential and retail amenities.

But while Lev Investments' proposed complex is so close to campus, the developers have a different segment of the population in mind.

"It's an adult population that really runs the gambit from a few students given our location so close to UTA to graduate students to adults [in their 50s] and above," Drenner said.

Mayor Robert Cluck describes the target crowd as "professors and professional people who have jobs in downtown Arlington" but live in another city.

"It's a population that already exists in Arlington, but it's an underserved population," Drenner said. "For a lot of folks who live in the kind of product -- which has been successful in other Texas cities -- we're proposing, it's not that they couldn't live in a house, it's that they choose not to, given the lifestyle that they have and the fact that they may want some more flexibility than they would have in today's single-family housing market."

The area around the UTA campus recently has seen significant growth. Several apartment complexes and a few dozen houses -- most of which have been around for more than 50 years -- are in the area.

"They're dilapidated, many of them; an eyesore, many of them," Cluck said. "This is going to be a refreshing change."

Drenner said he thinks the area has a lot of potential.

"We're really the first step in that ripple effect where you see capital following capital, and I think we're going to see that," he said.

The City Council is scheduled to have its first reading Tuesday night to consider the project.

But there are still some concerns that the proposal will not offer enough parking to cater to the number of residents it could attract and that it needs to be more environmentally friendly, such as LEED certification.

"If we get two of those things done, I think the majority of council will approve it," Cluck said.

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