New Mizzou Hillel center, student housing project delayed
Hillel director Jeanne Snodgrass cited the city’s rezoning process as the reason for the postponement.
May. 03, 2016
Mizzou Hillel pulled its zoning request from the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission agenda, delaying a project that would tear down the existing building and replace it with a six-story student housing complex and new center.
Mizzou Hillel director Jeanne Snodgrass said while the timeline has shifted, the original vision for the project is still intact. The center still looks forward to building an updated facility for their organization and working with local developer Trittenbach Development.
“We spent a long time formulating it and putting things together, but there were some additional concerns brought up, and we just wanted to make sure we had enough time to address everything,” Snodgrass said.
Mayor Brian Treece, has asked the city to freeze student housing development for fear of a “student housing bubble,” according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.
However, Snodgrass said Treece’s stance has not influenced Hillel’s decision to postpone. She cited the complicated nature of coordinating with the city and additional concerns discussed in board meetings as reasons instead.
“Zoning is a process,” Snodgrass said. “There’s always possibilities for delays. As we started getting into more detailed talks about doing different things, we realized we wanted to make sure we had enough time to really address it all and to be able to explain why we were coming from the perspective we were coming from.”
Timing the project is a concern for the Hillel Board of Directors, Snodgrass said. She said the board would like to plan construction so the space remains available to students for as much time as possible. The timeline for the project would most likely involve a June through August demolition stage, and then construction until reopening the following fall, Snodgrass said.
“We’re pretty tied to the academic year in terms of when we need the building to be available, and so to make sure we weren’t rushed trying to address those things and try not to press construction deadlines, it made sense for right now to take that temporary pause,” Snodgrass said.
The zoning request would change the current space’s classification from an R-3, a residential type, to a C-P commercial and office. The proposal requests no setback requirements or parking requirements. The development plan submitted to the city designates space for six parking spots and a bicycle rack, according to the Columbia Missourian.
Snodgrass said the board made a plan for what they wanted the new building to look like to serve their organization’s purposes, and it used lawyers and Trittenbach Development to decide on the best fitting zoning request. She said the vision for the new zoning will better reflect the physical changes of the area between the Hitt Street and University garages.
“We feel with all the buildup from the university and being surrounded by the university, we sort of feel like (R-3) wasn’t the appropriate zoning to be working with going into our project,” Snodgrass said.
The rezoning request’s first public hearing, scheduled for May 5, has been canceled.
Edited by Kyra Haas | email@example.com