New complexes continue to be built
According to www.byui.edu the student population of BYU-Idaho increased four percent since Winter Semester 2012, bringing the population to over 16,000 students.
With the increase in students there is an increasing need for student housing.
Three new housing complexes will be finished within the next three years.
“We are excited with the growth, we really are; it brings some large projects to Rexburg,” said Jon Phister, Owner and Developer Relations Manager of the Housing and Student Living office.
Phister said The Towers, a complex located on 333 W. 6th S., has a couple other phases that will progress next fall and then it will be finalized the following fall.
A project across the street from the stadium to the north, called North Pointe, will be finished in Fall 2014.
Additionally there is a project behind Shelbourne and Camden apartments where land is currently being cleared out and the projected date it will finished is 2014.
Phister said that North Pointe and the project behind Shelbourne will be both men’s and women’s housing and will have parking structures.
“Parking is a big problem, but the city has done some things to encourage development and we have worked with developers to come to a reasonable amount of spots,” Phister said.
Phister said the apartments are all close to campus.
“Ninety percent of beds are within two blocks of campus,” Phister said. “It is a huge blessing for the students.”
Pinnacle Point, the newest apartment complex, will be accessible to men Spring Semester 2013.
Pinnacle Point is located across from street from Mill Hollow in the old Pinnacle building.
“There is no new construction; the existing building is being used, so it was a challenge to get apartments in, but the rooms are very unique and have lots of different sizes,” said Ben Wiscombe, manager of Pinnacle Point.
There will be four- and six-man apartments, along with a weight room and theater room.
Wiscombe said there will be high-speed internet and free laundry, and that some apartments will have two fridges.
“The cost will be $900 and we know that if people know about it, it will fill up fast,” said Charcie Wiscombe, another manager of Pinnacle Point.
Phister said the growth of BYU-I has sparked a lot of interest on the part of the developers and created an attractive market.
Phister said that the housing office expects some changes because of the recent missionary age change announcement.
“We do expect a dip in enrollment, but it will come back up and we need housing to accommodate for that,” Phister said. “In 2014-2015 when these projects come on, that is when the flood of students will be returning from their missions.”
He said it is difficult to project how many students will be returning from missions and when that will happen
“We work closely with those who do enrollment projects and we make assumptions and build some models. As soon as we are comfortable with scenarios we share those with the landlords. The more info the landlords have the better,” Phister said.
It is important to have a good relationship with the developers because there are a lot of new housing complexes going up, Phister said.
“With the growth, it is important that the potential landlord or developer is focused on creating a good experience for the students. We want them to treat students fairly,” Phister said.
Phister said the landlords are not only working on new projects but they are renovating old apartment complexes too.
“There are projects that are practically gutting their apartments. It’s exciting to see the commitment the owners have to make a great environment for students,” Phister said.
Among the growth and new apartments, Phister said the housing office still has one mission: to foster an environment where students can learn and live the principles of Zion in their apartment.