Finn said the developer told commissioners that the project’s impact on privately owned student housing in the city would be minimal because the apartments would be more-expensive rental units.
Newman Development will have to address commissioners’ concerns about landscaping and buffering, water runoff and building security, among other SEQRA questions, Finn said, and plans will have to be reviewed with city engineering officials.
Of about 5,725 undergraduates enrolled full-time at the State University College at Oneonta, about 3,350 live on campus, college officials said. The college has 15 residence halls.
The apartment complex would be open to full-time college students, a use that Newman Development attorneys have determined is legally acceptable, Smetana said.
The apartment complex would feature a secured lobby, a fitness center, a computer lab, study lounges and a cafe, Smetana said. A company, Campus Apartments, would be hired to manage the building, and its staff would include an on-site manager, assistant manager and a facilities manager, plus other staff, he said.
The project would be similar to Newman Development’s Twin River Commons in Binghamton, which opened last year, Smetana said. Construction of that project was completed in June last year, two months ahead of schedule, he said, and the 371-bed complex is fully occupied.
A marketing study determined a housing need in Oneonta for an additional 340 and 380 beds for college students, Smetana said. The cost of the privately financed project is still under development as is the range of rents, he said.
The property would be taxed by the city of Oneonta, Smetana said, and the firm would be seeking a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan.
In other business Wednesday, Finn said, the commission approved site plans for the Stewart’s Shops store at 43-47 Main St., which plans to construct an addition and other improvements.
Commissioners also approved site plans for Hartwick College to build an addition to Dewar Student Union and renovations. Finn said the approval was granted with conditions, including that the college meet with the city engineering department to assure that plans address any water runoff and sanitary sewer impacts.