For the past year or so, private developers have scrambled to supply off-campus housing for the ever-growing University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus.
And now the college itself is testing the waters.
The UNG Real Estate Foundation is seeking proposals to sell property for a “small-to-moderate size student-focused housing community” on a site owned by the foundation on Tumbling Creek Road, said Gerald M. Sullivan, UNG’s associate vice president of real estate and auxiliary services.
A formal “request for proposals” has been sent to developers “that are experienced and expert in off-campus student housing, and to local and national firms,” Sullivan said in an email Wednesday, Nov. 6.
“This inquiry will provide foundation leadership with information on what may be developed for UNG Gainesville students if the property is sold.”
Sullivan added: “There is currently no contract on the property, nor has any development proposal for Tumbling Creek been received or considered as of this time.”
He said, “It is expected that the UNG Real Estate Foundation will have sufficient information to make determinations on how or if to proceed with this land sale at the end of the calendar year.”
The Tumbling Creek site is about 18 acres. Tumbling Creek Road runs between Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and Old Oakwood Road. Also on the road is the Lanier College & Career Academy.
The foundation, which describes itself as a “legally separate, tax-exempt organization whose activities primarily support University of North Georgia,” has received inquiries from “numerous developers over the past few years about developing off-campus, student-focused housing near the UNG Gainesville campus,” Sullivan said.
Inquiries are happening as the campus “has enacted numerous new and expanded academic programs, and likewise has experienced a tremendous growth in student enrollment over the last several years,” he added.
Enrollment is now approaching 10,000 students.
“More students taking more credit hours and commuting greater distances have generated more demand from UNG Gainesville students for safe, convenient and affordable housing options near the campus — which is currently in limited supply,” Sullivan said.
Student cottages have opened off Thurmon Tanner Parkway across from the university and
a 486-bed student housing project is planned off Ga. 13 and Frontage Road.
Also, a 348-unit apartment complex off Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood was approved in November 2018. Atlanta-based The Residential Group had proposed the development.
“This property is designed specifically to take advantage of the growth of the University of North Georgia (campus in Oakwood),” said Kurt Alexander, principal with The Residential Group, at the time.