UT Student housing plan upsets neighbors - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

UT Student housing plan upsets neighbors

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Another student housing project near the University of Toledo has some people in the neighborhood upset.   Resident fear the student housing will turn into something different.

Toledo City Council, by a 9-2 vote, approved a $27-million project near campus to house another 500-students even as enrollment drops.

In the Fall semester UT reported a student popular of 20,782; eight- thousand live on campus but thousands of others live in off-campus dorms.

Soon, dorms will be built at Westwood and Dorr, just off Secor and Dorr and at the old Maxwell's Brew site on Westwood and Bancroft.

Toledo city councilman Tom Waniewski represents the district in which the project will sit and he supports the plan to built student housing on the site.

"Here's the opportunity to put a nice development that will be monitored that will have cameras for security that will put 27-million dollars into our economy that will provide construction jobs,." he told 13abc's Bill Hormann

One-hundred forty-three apartments, housing 500 students, will be built on the 6-acre site.

But some people who live nearby see trouble.

Dan Dawson represents a group called the United Neighborhood Resident Association.  He says he doesn't have an issue with the developer investing money in Toledo, but "it's the place they're putting the $27 million building."

Dawson worries three new apartment complexes in his area in one year is too much.

The University of Toledo admits its student enrollment has dropped three percent over the last year.  Some of the residents who live around this proposed student housing complex believe that if enrollment continues to drop, the student housing complex will become something different.

Dawson says that something different will be a detriment to surrounding neighborhoods.  "There was a student complex built once before and was turned into a Section 8 complex before it was over.  It changed hands three or four different times, went into bankruptcy," he says.

Student housing is considered by developers as a recession proof investment.

And Matt Schroeder with the University of Toledo Foundation says, students want modern housing with updated amenities.  "Housing is becoming more and more a critical factor in the decision making process," he says.

But if student do not enroll at UT what happens to all the student housing?

In the end, that's the developers concern but neighbors worry Section 8 housing will come to their neighborhood.

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