By Travis Morgan
A new “student village” housing concept has been planned for Orem, but BYU students will not be invited to live there.
Parkway Crossing incorporates apartments, retail shops, offices, classrooms and a church in a village setting near UVSC.
The project is intended to help alleviate the Utah County housing crunch “with a European flair,” said Ken Young, an Orem city planner.
Students will live in apartments located above retail shops. A grocery store, fitness center, post office and restaurants will be located throughout the complex, Young said.
“This will be a prototype for the whole state and maybe the whole United States as a new concept in student housing,” said Orem Councilwoman Judy Bell.
The Parkway Crossing developers expected to house students attending both Utah Valley State College and BYU, according to the Summit Development site proposal.
“If there were plentiful housing around UVSC and it were inexpensive, I suspect there would be a lot of UVSC and BYU students living there,” said Kerry Romesberg, president of UVSC in the site proposal.
Developers approached the office of off-campus housing about receiving BYU approval two weeks ago, but their request was denied, said John Pace, manager of off-campus housing.
The office has placed a moratorium on approving additional housing outside Provo, he said.
“We are still reviewing the policy and how it affects our project,” a Summit Development representative said.
Pace said he asked the director of residence life, Julie Franklin, if Summit could present an appeal to gain BYU approval.
“I indicated that we would not be approving properties in Orem,” Franklin said.
Phase I of the project will continue with or without BYU housing approval, said Kurt Gappmayer, real estate agent at Grubb & Ellis Utah Realty.
Housing units will be built in five phases based on student needs. Current estimates show that all phases will be completed in four to six years, he said.
“We feel we can fill them up as fast as we can build them,” he said.
But if less student housing is needed in Orem, later phases of the development could be delayed.
“They will be built based on demand from students,” Gappmayer said.
If the BYU off-campus housing office does not approve Parkway Crossing, the development will voluntarily impose similar housing standards on its residents, Gappmayer said.
“We just want to make it the best facility for students at UVSC and at BYU — if we get the approval,” he said.
When the project is complete, students will enjoy swimming pools, hot tubs, sand volleyball, tennis courts and barbeque areas, developer Heath Johnston said.
Eventually, gondola cars — similar to those used on ski slopes — would whisk students across I-15 to the UVSC campus in about one minute, Johnston said.
Orem City Council required the gondolas and shuttle buses to transport UVSC students to campus when they approved the site plan last month.