By Myckyal Hunt
The South University Neighborhood is home to beautiful houses, carefully landscaped front yards, small parks where families can play, and soon, a number of new apartment complexes.
Along Alder street, south of 18th Avenue, the new additions are already popping up. Behind the Collegian and the Camelot, fancy and upscale-looking complexes are taking the place of quaint houses, and adding to the general noise-level of the already bustling area. Students are asking: What about the houses?
The Sonja, an apartment building still under construction on Alder, is listed on von Klein Property Management’s website. A 3 bedroom, 1 bath apartment including all general appliances is going to cost the tenants $2025. As the population at the University of Oregon rises – now over 20,000 total students – the need for housing rises too. In the 2008-2009 academic year, UO had a record-breaking freshman enrollment of about 4,000. Too many students in the dorms meant that freshman lived in Stadium Park Apartments, and were a ways away from campus. Apartment complexes can house more people than a house, and use the same amount of land doing it – and the apartments in South University have the benefit of being close to campus.
Some students don’t like the idea of apartment complexes over houses though, saying it changes the environment of Eugene. Senior Kariann Gillis, who lives in a house in South University, isn’t prepared to see high-rise apartments out her front window.
“I hate seeing houses taken down,” says Gillis, “huge apartment buildings are going to stick out like a sore thumb.”
Neighborhood development is part of Envision Eugene planning, a project set out to determine how to allow Eugene to grow and accommodate the citizens, without jeopardizing the characteristics of each neighborhood. Among the plans involving better transportation, and neighborhood associations is accessible housing for everyone.