Downtown ASU yearns for housing expansion plans

As the semester comes to a close, ASU continues to buzz with programs and activities, encouraging prospective students to attend for the following semester. However, ASU Downtown has halted its plans to expand housing, leaving little wiggle room for the community to grow.

Taylor Place Management and ASU representatives recently announced they are not planning to extend downtown housing, squashing the rumors of a Tower Three in the building. Management says they don’t see a need for more housing just yet.

“We will look at it from a business perspective to see how many students will be coming to downtown,” ASU downtown dean of students Georgeana Montoya told azcentral. “I don’t think there is a need for it at this very moment, but that can change in the next two to three years.”

 

 

However, the ASU Downtown population is growing at a rapid speed. Last year, Taylor Place was overbooked and was forced to house roughly 20 students in a local hotel. With recruitment at an all-time high, who’s to say this problem won’t arise again?

Downtown is also continuously expanding programs to provide more options for community life. From the freshly built Sun Devil Fitness Complex to the advancing Student Center, ASU is just asking students to live downtown.

Local businesses are greatly impacted by growing student life, giving the city new vigor through the revenue flowing through the community. By halting Taylor Place’s capacity, ASU is preventing Phoenix’s continued growth.

“Private investment in and around the campus has been in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Jeremy Legg, economic development program manager for the city of Phoenix, told KJZZ. “The revenues that the city receives since the campus has opened in this area have just grown tremendously, far outpacing what anybody could have even hoped for.”

Not to mention the impact the new law school will make as it joins the urban location. By adding majors, classes and buildings to the downtown area, this is going to attract a new audience of ASU hopefuls.

“This is an investment that makes sense for ASU (Sandra Day O’Connor) College of Law, its students and the city of Phoenix,” said Phoenix Councilman Bill Gates in a statement. “The move will position one of our nation’s top public law schools within walking distance of local, state and federal courts, our state’s top law firms and business headquarters.”

Downtown Phoenix, a hub for cultural expression, has been a rising art district, turning traditions like First Friday into a staple of downtown culture. ASU looks to jump on this, immersing their Herberger art students in the area.

“Moving a number of the graduate programs in the School of Art to state-of-the-art facilities in the warehouse district downtown allows Herberger Institute students and faculty more avenues for connecting with the emerging arts scene, and provides an important opportunity to build Arizona State University’s presence in Phoenix,” ASU senior vice president and university planner Richard Stanley said.

Similarly, Cronkite students are in store for new opportunities come the following semester, including a new Super Bowl reporting class offered in the fall and a developing partnership with the American Public Media’s Public Insight Network.

What does all of this boil down to? Expansion.

ASU downtown is not only in Phoenix, but it’s thriving in a setting of culture and personal expression. Academics, nightlife, community engagement and opportunities galore await prospective students who may have to compromise their options because of the lack of housing.

Taylor Place ought to rethink its decision to ignore the need of more housing. Downtown is growing with every student who gets accepted, yet the plans to help cultivate these advancements are nowhere to be found.

Reach the columnist at rsmouse@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @BeccaSmouse

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

Want to join the conversation? Send an email to opiniondesk.statepress@gmail.com. Keep letters under 300 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.