Another big student-oriented housing project has targeted the Milton Road corridor near NAU’s Mountain Campus, this time on Mike’s Pike in Southside.
At two meetings with neighbors last week, developers Core Campus unveiled a project of up to five stories and 240 apartments, plus stores and a parking garage. The project would cover about 2.5 acres and border Milton Road and Phoenix Avenue, in addition to Mike’s Pike.
Core Campus specializes in student housing and apartments/townhomes for young professionals, according to Lindsay Schube, the company’s zoning attorney.
“We don’t do cookie-cutter buildings. We really want to be a part of Flagstaff,” she said. “We believe that this is something that will work well in this area. We think if we can provide the right kind of housing that it will take the pressure off of housing prices in the area.”
A detailed plan of the building and zoning request has not been submitted to the city yet, she said. The company wanted to bring the project to the community for more input before submitting it to the city.
“We’ve planned a series of meetings to follow up on comments from the public before we submit it to the city,” said John Myefski from Myefski Architects.
The main concern of the residents attending Thursday was traffic. Several residents pointed out that the Five Points area, where Milton, Route 66, Clay Avenue, Mike’s Pike and Butler Avenue meet, is already heavily trafficked by vehicles and pedestrians. On-street parking is also at a premium in the area.
Myefski said the company was aware of the traffic and parking problems. A traffic study would be completed before the project went to the city to determine what would need to be done.
One resident said she would support the project 100 percent if they could guarantee her in writing that it wouldn’t turn into another Grove. The Grove is a student housing project located near NAU that has had a history of loud parties and citations by police for alcohol violations.
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Schube said the project would have an on-site manager and a security plan. The company has already met with Flagstaff Police Department and pledged to join the department’s Multi-Family Safe Housing program. Core also manages the projects that it builds, she said.
The project are would cover three parcels and have retail stores on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors on Mike’s Pike and Milton. A series of townhomes is planned for Phoenix Avenue, where there would be no retail.
Core likes the area because it provides residents with a home within walking distance of downtown and the Northern Arizona University campus, Myefski said. It’s also located near a city bus stop, which provides residents with an alternative form of transportation.
The pricing and size of the units would range from one-bedroom efficiencies to possibly up to five bedroom apartments or townhomes, Myefski said. The company is looking at between 220-240 units. The exact details of how many units and how they would be priced hasn’t been worked out yet.
The maximum height of the building would be five stories with a parking garage in the center of the triangular-shaped building. Traffic would enter and exit the parking garage from Mike’s Pike. Each successive floor of residential units on Mike’s Pike and Milton would stair step back from the sidewalk toward the interior of the site to avoid creating a monolith of a building looming over the sidewalk, he said.
The company also planned to go out of its way to meet or exceed the city’s Dark Skies lighting standards, Myefski said. It would also work on securing the first floor retail spaces against storm water, since portions of Mike’s Pike and Phoenix Avenue are in flood plains.
How the outside of the building would look is still under consideration, he said. But some suggested materials might be wood, native stone and metal siding.
The company is really looking to the community for input on what they would like to see the building look like, Schube said.
After about two hours of comments, the representatives from Core said they would take the comments they received into consideration and return to the community with updated plans for the project at the beginning of May.