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City Council approves plan for The Standard

In addition to approving a long-awaited ordinance amendment allowing for the return of Uber, the Auburn City Council also approved an agreement with the developers of The Standard student-housing complex. The plans have been in the works since before the approval of the city's moratorium on downtown student-housing developments.

The Standard will sit on 3.41 acres of land along the northeastern corner of Gay Street and East Glenn Avenue currently housing a closed Checker's, Adventure Sports and Da Gallery. The complex will tout 219 apartment units with 683 bedrooms spread over five residential floors, according to city documents.

On the bottom floor of the six-story development, there will be more than 16,000 square feet of retail space. The development will surround a 247,000-square-foot parking garage with 688 parking spaces.

The 683-bedroom complex will stretch 65 feet into the sky and will be one of the largest student-housing developments in the entire city. In comparison, 160 Ross boasts 642 individual beds across 182 two, three and four-bedroom units.

"So obviously with that size development, this would be the biggest student-housing development that we have seen," said Assistant City Manager Kevin Cowper. "There will be some impacts on local infrastructure."

Cowper said the city would work to ensure that infrastructure is upgraded to accommodate the new development downtown. The development agreement includes plans to upgrade both the infrastructure and streetscapes along both Gay Street and Glenn Avenue.

Site plan for The Standard contributed by the City of Auburn.

Landmark Properties, the developer of The Standard, contributed $1 million to the city's budget to help cover the costs of the infrastructure and streetscape upgrades. $500,000 was originally to be paid on Aug. 1, 2016.

Along Gay Street, the city plans to install three new pedestrian street lights, install street trees, add some on-street parking and TigerTransit stop and reconstruct the sidewalks and driveway aprons, as well as resurfacing and re-striping the street itself. 

Glenn Avenue will see a reconstructed sidewalk also. When it comes to streetscapes, the city will relocate power lines, install street trees, add four new pedestrian lights and add a new left-turn restricted access to the complex entrance.

In a plan to help relieve a downtown strapped for parking, the developers of The Standard agreed to allow the city to use extra parking spaces as metered public parking in it's planned multi-story parking deck.

"Landmark shall further allow the City of Auburn to install and maintain ... and use and designate as public and meter, any constructed and striped parking spaces inside of The Project's structured parking deck that exceed the number of actual spaces required," the development reads.

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Andrew Young, senior vice president of Landmark Properties, said the complex would charge residents an additional rent for parking spaces in the deck. Students who choose not to bring a car and pay the rent will free up spaces for public use.

Young and Cowper also said that drivers from The Standard would not overburden the city's intersections because students have diverse schedules that differ from the average resident. 

According to the agreement, construction the project would begin in late December 2017, but preparations for construction including upgrades to the city's sewer infrastructure would begin in early 2017. 

Exterior construction would likely be completed in early 2019 and students could begin moving in by fall semester 2019.

Corey Williams, editor-in-chief, contributed to this report.

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