HCC Central to explore dormitory housing on new land site

By Debra McGaughey

May 15, 2014

Tobin Lofts

Hundreds of future students, faculty and staff may one day be within walking distance of HCC Central's main campus.

The college is in the early stages of planning a public-private residential complex on a six-acre piece of land recently acquired by the college.

Modeled after Tobin Lofts student housing at Alamo Colleges' San Antonio College, the complex would be built on the property owned by HCC Central at the corner of Almeda and Alabama. Currently, the land is largely vacant, except for a multi-colored, two-story house on the southwest side of the tract.

"This is an exciting prospect for the college and the district," says Dr. William W. Harmon, president of HCC Central. "The idea of having students within walking distance of the campus would be beneficial to many international students, and even to faculty and staff tired of commuting to the college from the suburbs."

Dr. Thomas Estes, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Planning and Dr. Diana Pino, Vice Chancellor of Student Services are part of the planning process of the residential project.

The public-private partnership involves allowing the private business to build the complex and receive revenue from its rental units, which could range from $525 to $900 a month, until the business makes a predetermined return on its investment. After approximately seven years, the complex would be given to HCC to own and manage from then on.

When complete, the complex is expected to include first-floor retail space and a parking garage. Its design would be harmonious with current residential structures in the booming Midtown area, which was designated as a cultural arts district by the state in 2012.

The college is seeking approval of a $40,000 feasibility study to determine specifics about the project. A site survey of the Tobin Lofts project in San Antonio is expected to be made by HCC administrators in June.

For the Tobin Lofts website, click here.

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