Aspen Heights Taking Shape
County’s First Student-Housing Complex Set To Open In August
Posted: February 19, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Rockingham County’s first student-housing complex is taking shape just south of Harrisonburg.
Contractors for Aspen Heights recently obtained building permits of more than $2.2 million for the development off Port Republic Road, including a $500,000 clubhouse and 17 dwellings.
Construction of permanent structures will be the latest addition to the rapidly changing parcel, previously a mostly empty farm field on the west side of Port Republic Road and just south of the recently completed Harrisonburg Community Health Center.
Austin, Texas-based Aspen Heights plans to have the 600-bed complex ready for occupancy by August, with James Madison University students its target demographic.
The gated community, which will have private security on weekends, will consist of single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses designed to look and feel like a traditional neighborhood.
Its entrance will be located directly across from Rosedale Drive. Aspen Heights has agreed to build a traffic signal at the intersection if officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation deem one necessary.
The Rockingham County Board of Supervisors gave the complex the green light in April. Its construction marks the first foray of a JMU student-housing development outside the city, which is saturated with such complexes.
In the past, neighbors expressed concerns about student housing moving into the area, with some specifically pointing to the 2010 Springfest riot. Company officials tried to assuage concerns about crime and noise, telling supervisors that they can swiftly address problem tenants if any issues arise.
The Harrisonburg market is one of the latest to be pursued by Aspen Heights. Aspen Heights also has student-housing complexes near Auburn University in Alabama and in Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
The company is in the midst of a large expansion, adding six developments to its existing roster of eight, including the one on Port Republic Road, said Ryan Hand, Aspen Heights’ regional marketing manager.
Interest in the Rockingham County development has been strong, Hand said, with leases already signed for about 70 percent of the available space.
Hand described Aspen Heights’ rental prices as in the mid- to high-end range.
Its website lists prices to rent one-bedroom units from $539 per month to $609, depending on the floor plan.
Properties have five bedrooms, four bedrooms, three bedrooms and two bedrooms, with many being four-bedroom houses, Hand said.
Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or email@example.com