Sam Houston State University officials are moving forward with a plan to develop a freshmen-housing facility on the corner block of Sam Houston Avenue and 17th Street after purchasing the property on April 15.
SHSU officials have discussed purchasing properties on this block for the past few months with a real estate company.
Huntsville area businesses, which will be affected by the property purchases are, Zach’s Bar and Grill Restaurant, Quarter’s Sports Bar and Taboo Tattoo.
Jack Parker, SHSU vice president of Finance and Operations said the property tracks were closed on April 15 by 2 p.m.
“We now own the block,” Parker said. “(The housing) is going to be for freshmen use; for construction of freshmen housing very similar to the White Hall (housing facility).”
The undisclosed amount was determined with the approval of The Texas State University System Board of Regents and the Higher Education Coordinating Board with the approval from two appraisals, he said.
The university housing fund balance funded the new housing development that is expected to be in operation by fall 2004.
“It will be another choice for freshmen as to where they would like to live,” Parker said. “It is an apartment style living.”
Nikki Hayes, an SHSU junior, said it is good that the university is growing.
“I think it is good for the university, but I think there is other things they should be working on, like parking for instance,” Hayes said.
“I don’t know why (SHSU) is building apartments to house more students when we can’t even find a parking space for them,” she said. “Although I do think that it is important for SHSU to do this in order for the university to grow.”
The new development will be an apartment style housing facility with two bedrooms, one person per room, a small living room and a kitchenette, Parker said.
The cost of living will be $425 a month, which includes all utility bills Internet or Ethernet connections.
The design of the new housing facilities will be similar in style to Bearkat Village I and II, currently under construction. Bearkat Village, located at the corner of Montgomery Road and Bowers Boulevard, will hold at least 500 additional students when it opens in the fall.
Parker said 78 percent of the rooms have been reserved for the Bearkat Village apartments. Residence Life is accepting applications for Bearkat Village.
Kim Tibiletti, owner of Zach’s Bar and Grill Restaurant, said the plans for her restaurant are to relocate to the 2800 block of Sam Houston Avenue next to AACE Transmission probably sometime in July.
“(The Location) is an empty lot in between DG’s and AACE Transmission,” Tibiletti said. “We have been here 15 years this summer so we think that people will follow us if we advertise and let them know where we are.”
Quarter’s owner, Ed DelaGarza told ‘”The Huntsville Item” the new business, an icehouse, will be located on the 2000 block of Sam Houston Avenue, and should be complete by November.
Tibiletti said the move will be a good move for Zach’s and that she has learned a lot about the restaurant business from the previous moves of her business.
“It is good and we are excited about the move,” she said. “This is going to be our third location and we have learned a lot of dos and don’ts about the business, but we are very excited about it.”