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Off-campus dorms pitched for University of Louisville

U of L says it isn't seeking the housing


A developer wants to construct a five-story building that would house up to 830 University of Louisville students at Eastern Parkway near Interstate 65.

But the university is not affiliated with the project and is not looking for additional student housing, U of L spokesman Mark Hebert said.

Innovative Student Housing of Austin, Texas, filed a pre-application with Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services on April 23. The company wants to change the zoning of 4.7 acres from residential to commercial.

The building also would have retail and restaurant space and an 833-car parking garage, according to the pre-application.

The site — bounded by Eastern Parkway, Crittenden Drive, I-65 and Warnock Street — is now home to an apartment complex, single-family houses, duplexes and the Tabernacle of David church.

Innovative Student Housing calls its proposed building a “dormitory ... for students attending the University of Louisville.”

But the university has already met its 2020 goal for students living in campus or campus-affiliated housing, Hebert said. There are about 5,100 beds in campus or affiliated housing, 92 percent of which are occupied, he said.

“Right now we are feeling pretty good about on-campus or around-campus housing for students,” he said.

Cassie Carter, marketing director with Innovative Student Housing, said the company was “within two weeks of making a formal announcement” about its Louisville plans and declined to comment further Friday.

Hebert said the Austin developers have informed U of L officials of their plan for the property and expressed interest in getting an affiliation agreement with the university.

“They just said, ‘Here is what we are thinking about doing,’ ” Hebert said.

In addition to traditional dorms, privately managed apartment complexes such as Cardinal Towne, the Bellamy and the Province are considered official U of L student housing through affiliation agreements.

Zoning changes take several months and require a public hearing before the Louisville Metro Planning Commission. The Metro Council will have the final say.

Reporter Chris Otts can be reached at (502) 582-4589 or on Twitter @cjchrisotts.