Mizzou Hillel partners with local developer to build student housing

The Jewish campus center will occupy the first floor of the new building, which will have five additional floors of student housing.

A plan to tear down the current Mizzou Hillel building and rebuild a six-story student housing complex in its place will have its first rezoning hearing next week.

The new building will house the Jewish campus center on the first floor, Hillel Executive Director Jeanne Snodgrass said. The other five floors will have apartments with three or four bedrooms and a total of 275 beds in the building.

Hillel is planning for construction to begin this summer and be completed by fall 2017, according to the Columbia Missourian.

The plan is a partnership between Hillel and local builder Trittenbach Development. Trittenbach developed the Brookside apartment complexes in Columbia.

While Trittenbach will manage the apartments, Snodgrass said Hillel will retain ownership of the property at 1107 University Ave., according to the Columbia Missourian. She told The Maneater the Hillel Board of Directors approached several local developers about a potential partnership over three years ago.

The rezoning request, made on behalf of Hillel Council Inc., asks to reclassify the 0.72-acre property from R-3, a medium density multiple-family dwelling district, to C-P, a planned business district, according to the proposal.

The plan also requests no setback requirements or parking requirements. According to a ground plan submitted by Hillel, there will be six parking spots and a bike rack with eight spaces. The building is also located near two parking garages, University Avenue and Hitt Street garages.

Snodgrass said Hillel’s current building, which was built in 1969, lacks adequate space, fails to meet the most current Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines and is not “particularly energy efficient.”

“We had a desire to have a facility that was more than just adequate to serve students better,” Snodgrass said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to offer even more.”

While the building is under construction, Snodgrass said Hillel will have a small temporary office at the United Methodist Church and will hold additional programs on campus.

Gabe Raskin, a campus engagement intern and student at Hillel, said that an updated building will be an opportunity to increase Jewish students’ engagement. According to the center’s website, about 800 Jewish undergraduate students attend MU.

“Hillel offers a very inclusive community where we give each other respect and give each other opportunities of leadership and opportunities to experience Judaism,” Raskin said. “Although the residents may not be Jewish, as far as any personal issues go, I hope and don’t believe there will be any. I think there will definitely be a line of respect built as we are sharing our space and as Hillel owns the property.”

Hillel currently shares its building with the International Community Church. Snodgrass said the church has not yet determined whether they will rent space in the new building.

“I just hope that people look at the project for what it is — the chance for a small nonprofit that works with students and that provides a lot of resources for the university to be updated,” Snodgrass said. “We’ve been here for over 70 years. We’re committed to this town and to this university.”

The public rezoning hearing is at 6 p.m. May 5 at the Daniel Boone City Building.

Annabel Ames, Nancy Coleman and Anna Sutterer contributed to this report.

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