HOUSTON, Sept. 2 — Construction will start soon on a new luxury student housing development in Nacogdoches, but unlike most new development projects, this one is preserving and incorporating a piece of history into its plans.
Legends will bring to life the vision of Domus Development’s Eric Jakimier. “The history of site is extremely unique and I really wanted to preserve that,” said Jakimier of the land where the development is to be built, which is about 2 blocks from the front gates of Stephen F. Austin University.
“The last time this land changed hands was 1886,” according to Jakimier. This land has been held in a family trust for many years. Owned by Samuel B. Hayter and his wife Penelope, the family built a home on the property in 1913 and lived there for nearly 60 years.
“I fell in love with the building the first time I saw it,” said Jakimier, who is a licensed architect and plans to renovate and make the prairie-style home the clubhouse and office for this new student housing project. The home was designed by Diedrich Rulfs, who was known as the master architect of Nacogdoches from the 1880s to 1920s. Jakimier discovered the property while doing genealogy work on his own family, who moved in the area at roughly the same time at Sam’s great-grandfather in the mid-1800s.
The development will encompass 10 acres and also includes another 20 acres, a portion of which is likely to be donated to the city for a park. Legends will house 549 students in a mixture of 1, 2 and 4 bedroom apartments ranging from 550 to 1350 square feet. The property will include a long list of luxury amenities and is anticipated to be leased at capacity when it opens in August of 2012. Legends will be operated by Asset Campus Housing. “We are excited that Eric has chosen ACH to be the managing agent for Legends, this project will be one of the most unique student housing developments, not just in Texas but the entire country” said Wanda Norrick, VP of operations for ACH. “Its not every day a project like this comes along.”
This is not the first time Jakimier has blended new development with history. While working for another development company, Jakimier spearheaded the adaptive reuse of a historic building in Chicago. He was successful in getting the building listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, which generated substantial project funds from syndication of the tax credits.
“I believe preserving history is important and the rich history of this house is something really unique. We could never duplicate if we simply tore it down and replaced it with a new building,” said Jakimier. “I know that students will appreciate the historical value we are bringing to this site and will be as excited about Legends as I am.”
Eric Jakimier has spent the past seven years specifically concentrating on student housing, both university-owned and privately-owned, for the largest student living developers in the country. He has been responsible for everything from site selection and acquisition, through site due-diligence, design consultant management, lender contract negotiation and negotiations with governmental agencies, to construction management and project turnover, including project accounting and reporting to investors and other interested parties.
Asset Campus Housing
Asset Campus Housing, Inc. (“ACH”) is a sister company of Houston based Asset Plus Companies, a third party property management firm specializing in real estate services for investors, developers, and owners. Asset Campus Housing manages a student housing portfolio of 50+ properties, exceeding 30,000 beds located throughout the United States.
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