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Planned apartments look to ?ll UNC student demand

Chapel Hill apartments are nearing full capacity, owners and town officials say, creating a demand for more housing that two new developments hope to satisfy.

Trinitas and Shortbread Lofts are both moving through Chapel Hill Town Council’s approval process. Both developments would be within a mile of campus, stand seven stories tall and concentrate on providing student housing.

Dwight Bassett, the town’s economic development officer, said because of its current economy and demographic, the Chapel Hill market demands the rental housing the developments could offer.

He said the town categorizes housing into four areas: for-sale, rental, workforce and low-income.

“Rental, workforce and low-income have a higher demand in this market climate,” Bassett said.

Bassett said the town does not track apartment occupancy rates, but several apartment complexes in Chapel Hill said they are nearly or completely full.

Warehouse Apartments on West Rosemary Street is currently at 100 percent occupancy, according to regional sales specialist Brett Bailey.

Bailey said the apartment complex is mostly rented by students and is occasionally overbooked. He said its proximity to campus is its most attractive amenity.

“We also get a lot of Greek life,” he said.

Rent starts at $795 a month per bedroom, Bailey said.

Trinitas rent would range between $500 and $800 per bedroom. Shortbread Lofts’ proposal does not precisely state how much it would charge per unit.

The complex is completely filled for next year, said leasing consultant Evelyn Greene.

“We’re newer apartments, but since they’re close, people are starting to become aware of them,” she said. The all-student complex charges $599 per bedroom monthly, she said.

While Warehouse and StoneCrop are mostly undergraduate-occupied, graduate housing is also in high demand.

Timber Hollow Apartments, located off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, is at 99 percent occupancy ­— and mostly by graduate students — said Michael Hernandez, the complex’s property manager.

The one or two bedroom units rent from $680 to $965 monthly, Hernandez said.

Chapel Ridge, Chapel View and Foxcroft Apartments management said they could not disclose occupancy numbers.

Larry Short, who opened Warehouse in 1999 and is the managing partner of the of Shortbread Lofts, said Shortbread Lofts at 333 W. Rosemary St. could divert the conversion of single-family homes in Northside into student rentals.

Short will present a revised plan to the Chapel Hill Town Council Feb. 27 before construction can begin. Trinitas, which is earlier in the approval process, will present its concept plan to Town Council Feb. 20.

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