Council approves largest off-campus housing development in Bloomington history

During a city council meeting Wednesday night the Bloomington City Council approved a 1,061 bed housing development with 679 parking spaces to be built on the 7.22 acre property on Brownstone Drive. The development marketed as, “luxury and student-centered accommodations” will be the largest off campus housing development in Bloomington history by the number of beds.

The new development titled, The Standard at Bloomington, continues a trend of building large apartment buildings aimed at the student housing market. The trend began 17-years-ago under former Mayor John Fernandez with the formerly named Smallwood Development, which was hailed at the time as converting the “eye-sore” ST Semicon property into a useful real estate development. Since then apartment developments have been built around the downtown area changing the Bloomington skyline and altering the urban landscape.

The developers plan to demolish the existing 232 bed unit currently known as Brownstone Terrace Apartments to construct the new development. Units in the current apartment complex rent for between 615-dollars for a 2 bedroom unit to 1150-dollars per month for 3 bedrooms. When looking at prices of other, “The Standard” units the website asks potential tenants to call for the price of rent per month.

Bloomington City Council member Steve Volan voted against the 7.22 acre development citing the large parking garage, and the lack of public transit provided by the project as reasons.  

Volan cited the real-estate project being built at the former Motel 6 site offering “an entire new bus line in perpetuity” compared to the Brownstone project, which is offering more parking, but no funding for public transit. Volan pointed out that of the 7-million annual riders on the city’s two public transit systems, 6-million of them are students. The numbers are pre-COVID.

The project developers expect the development to be used for at least 90-years.

The Bloomingtonian attempted to find out more about the investors in Landmark Properties LLC and found the following:

 “Landmark Properties, the owner and developer for this project, is a vertically integrated real estate company that specializes in developing and managing Class A student housing projects under their flagship brand, “The Standard.” Landmark was the most active student developer in the United States for two of the last three years,” according to a document provided by Smith Brehob & Associates, Inc. to the city council to request rezoning of the property for the development.

According to the Landmark Properties website the company has over 2-billion dollars of student housing currently under construction and is the most active student housing developer in the United States.

“The Standard at Bloomington project will consist of three inter-linked buildings located on a sloped site on off E. 14th St. between N. Dunn St and N. Walnut St in Bloomington, Indiana,” according to a document provided to the Bloomington City Council.

At least 15 percent of the units are supposed to be available as workforce housing units based on a formula taking in to account the Bloomington area’s median income.

Residents of the current apartment complex will be displaced by July 2021 when construction begins and will have to find alternative housing in a tight local housing market with a lack of affordable options.

To see more documents regarding the development go to page 104 of the PDF at this link:

Landmark Properties lists “The Standard” developments in the following cities:

Berkeley, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; Fort Collins, Colorado; College Station and Austin, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Knoxville, Tennessee; State College, Pennsylvania; New Brunswick, New Jersey; Charlottesville, Virginia; Raleigh and Boone, North Carolina; Auburn, Alabama; Atlanta and Athens, Georgia, Tampa, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Coral Gables, Florida.

Here is a map with all the company’s properties:

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