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Clemson planning commission approves new downtown apartment complex

City of Clemson // Courtesy
The new apartment complex will be adjacent to Lake Hartwell.

More student housing is set to be built in Clemson after the City of Clemson planning commission approved a planned-use development for a new apartment building on Keowee Trail during its meeting on Feb. 12.

The new development, as planned, will contain over 1300 beds, primarily student housing. However, according to the city council and planning commission presentations, several townhomes will be designed with family units in mind.

The building, which is planned to be built on the corner of Tiger Boulevard and College Avenue, is expected to be built by 2027. According to the presentations, there will be seven stories on the Keowee Trail side and five stories on the Wall Street side.

The development will also include a large public plaza opening onto Abernathy Park. It will function as an extension of the park, with 8,500 square feet of retail facing onto the plaza and Lake Hartwell, according to the presentation.

More public parking would be a part of the development, as plans include 75 public parking spaces for retail and the park, along with a pedestrian connector to Wall Street near the Pot Belly Deli.

The planned-use development approval allows the developer to build a larger, denser project than allowed by normal zoning in exchange for benefits to the public, such as public parking and open space, like the plaza. The proposal will now go to the city council for final approval.

This development is taking place on the abandoned and underutilized houses along Keowee Trail across from Abernathy Park, along with several offices on Wall Street next to the Pot Belly Deli.

The development will have its main parking entrance from Keowee Trail, with an auxiliary entrance off Wall Street. This project is expected to convert Wall Street so vehicles cannot make a left onto or from College Avenue.

This building plan was developed as an extension of the Uptown Next plan, with details released in January, which seeks to develop and urbanize the area around the corner of Tiger Boulevard and College Avenue.

The developer, Core Spaces, is a national firm specializing in student housing. They are the new owners of several projects in the Clemson area, including The Pier and Clemson Lofts. They have also developed several similarly dense projects in areas such as Tucson, Arizona; Madison, Wisconsin; Blacksburg, Virginia and Knoxville, Tennessee.

While the presentation doesn’t outline any improvements to Abernathy Park outside of the plaza for the planned project, the developer will pay significant impact fees, including a park impact fee. There will also be a substantial increase in city taxes over the long run.

Many residents expressed their displeasure with the development of another large student housing complex during previous city council meetings. Those displeasures included concerns over traffic congestion and the park’s development not benefiting city residents enough.

However, proponents emphasized that students would be able to walk to class from the development, reducing traffic and cultivating extensive public benefits from the plaza and parking.

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Corey Glenn
Corey Glenn, Asst. News Editor
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  • M

    MattFeb 22, 2024 at 2:12 pm

    Ban freshman and sophomores from being allowed to have vehicles I. Clemson that would solve the traffic issue. This proposed development is going to continue to push residents away from the city.

    • T

      Tim LoveMar 4, 2024 at 10:33 pm

      Most sophomores can’t live on campus so it would be hard to impose that. There is no true grocery store on campus. Just adding one of those would limit a lot of travel and help the students to eat better.

    • T

      Trey BellakwinskayMay 7, 2024 at 8:29 am

      You can ban cars, but thats not going to solve anything lol. Not only are the places downtown only 15-30 min walk from campus (depending on where you are going), almost all of the student housing developments further out in Seneca, Central, etc…provide shuttles that run to and from the apartments every 30 mins – 1 hour every day during the week.