History of University Family Apartments
The Colorado Apartments opened in 1962.
In 1989 the City of Austin and UT Austin entered into an agreement, allowing UT Austin the option of redeveloping the parcels of land housing the university family apartments. The agreement specifies that the parcels may be redeveloped to house residential, retail, and/or other commercial properties. The agreement regarding the parcel with the Colorado Apartments went into effect in 1999. The agreement regarding Brackenridge Apartments was scheduled to go into effect in 2009.
In 2005 the University of Texas Board of Regents offered the parcels of land with the Colorado Apartments as a possible site for the location of the George W. Bush Presidential Library; ultimately Southern Methodist University received the library. As of the northern hemisphere spring semester of 2007, 268 students were on a waiting list to get into units at Brackenridge Apartments. In August of that year, over 500 students submitted an intention to move into the units. Around 2007 a task force recommended selling the tract including the Brackenridge Apartments and the Colorado Apartments to developers, who would replace the apartments with commercial property. The options presented by the task force were keeping the housing at the same location, moving the housing to a new location, and giving a housing subsidy to students to pay for the costs of housing at third party locations. The graduate student community states that they preferred keeping the apartments where they were and did not support the housing subsidy idea. The community of Mathews Elementary believed that if the UT student housing was removed, the community would lose the international student culture that comes with the children who live on the complex.
When asked by the Austin American-Statesman. about the details of the recommendations of the planners to redevelop Gateway Apartments to be a larger complex and replacing the functions of Brackenridge and Colorado apartments, William Powers Jr., the UT Austin president, said that the components of the new housing plan that would be essential for the students would include having "garden-style" apartment units instead of high-rise dormitory units, having facilities for children, and continued zoning to Mathews Elementary.
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