The university has signed a pre-development agreement for the construction of an apartment complex north of ACU’s campus on North Judge Ely Boulevard.
The new apartment complex will hold 240 apartments and cost an estimated $28.7 million. Even though the project isn’t slated to finish until 2022, pre-leasing is expected to be available before the end of 2021.
“We would phase the construction in a way that would allow us to lease some of the building and units prior to 100% completion,” said Jess Green, senior vice president of Wilks Development. “Therefore, it is possible that pre-leasing could begin in August 2021 and some tenants and residents could begin moving in early fourth quarter of 2021.”
Construction will begin in February 2021, and the project will conclude in April 2022.
This agreement comes after a several number of campus projects have begun development. Allen Ridge will open restaurants in November, and a new health clinic and bank will open north of Wildcat Stadium.
The university has also been in discussions with a hotel, but COVID-19 has currently halted talks, said Kelly Young, vice president for Abilene Christian Investment Management Company.
“COVID has obviously put those talks on a long-term hold because nobody is traveling, but we think that will eventually come back,” Young said. “We’ll have a pretty nice hotel soon.”
The complex will feature a nature trail along with a pool and sand volleyball court. Majority of the units will be one and two bedrooms, but 12 units will be offering three bedrooms.
ACU will not run the apartments. It is working with a separate developer, Wilks Development, that is in the process of obtaining a HUD loan to fulfill the primary source of funding for the project.
“We see this development as a way to improve the north side of Abilene, not just for the ACU campus but for Abilene,” Young said. “However, all of this is a very long process, and there are a lot of hoops to jump through before you’re up and running.”