The city of Abilene is trying to entice college students or recent graduates to stay in the downtown area by encouraging more apartments.
City leaders say they haven’t reached the millennial market after they graduate college. So far, they have two apartment buildings in downtown Abilene— the Wooten and the Windsor.
Most students at colleges in Abilene will rent apartments or houses near their university to save money on travel to and from school. But Steve Dieterichs, downtown development director for the city of Abilene, said the city is trying to reach out to college students now.
“We’re really focused on getting more youthful vibe downtown, so students and graduates especially,” Dieterichs said. “There’s a big push to encourage students once they graduate to stay in the city of Abilene. That involves not only offering the type of housing that they want, which we are finding more and more is an urban setting like downtown.”
This is not the only development underway in the downtown area. Plans are to build a hotel near the Abilene Convention Center that will attract visitors to stay near downtown Abilene instead of staying along the loop around Abilene.
“The hotel is in the final stages for planning,” Dietrichs said. “The city is currently working with the financial partner at looking at different ways of funding and looking over the final projections to see if they work. The city manager said that they expected the master development agreement to go to the city council for approval in late September or early October.”