Is there too much student housing in Greenville?

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – As more student housing projects come to Uptown Greenville, some people are concerned there could soon be too much student housing.

Sidewalk Development is building a new $32 million student and market-rate apartment complex along Dickinson Avenue which Greenville city councilmember P.J. Connelly said is a “win-win” for the developer and the city.

“It’s a good project, and I think it’s going to help out that area over on Dickinson Avenue,” Connelly said. “I know when I first came to school here 10 years ago, there wasn’t anything on Dickinson Avenue.”

There also wasn’t as many student apartments as there are now which are spread out across the city.

Most of the new housing projects are centered around Uptown including The Boundary at West End.

With more projects coming to the area, property manager Chelsey Harper said she’s ready for the competition.

“I don’t think it will really affect us much,” Harper said. “It will probably affect those who are on the perimeter, on the outskirts of Greenville.”

It’s a prospect concerning commercial real estate broker Michael Overton.

He’s a part of the Dickinson Avenue project, and he said if more student housing is proposed in the future, there needs to be a discussion on whether East Carolina University has enough students to fill those units.

If there’s not enough, he said owners can’t reinvest in their properties.

“You can start slowly seeing it spiral down in the condition of the property, the quality of the tenants and overall the quality of the area,” Overton said.

It doesn’t appear to be affecting student apartments more than a mile from campus yet.

Copper Beech has an occupancy rate of 99.5 percent, 33 East’s at 97 percent and University Suites’ at 85 percent.

Still, council member Connelly admitted it could be a future issue.

“Hopefully, the property owners will keep the properties up and keep incentives to keep students in those properties,” Connelly said.

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