Statesboro City Council approved a zoning and variance change to clear the way for Rael Development Corporation to build a housing complex at 1 University Place known commonly as University Plaza.  University Plaza is located beside the new Zaxby’s at the corner of Georgia and Chandler Avenue, which is directly across from the GS campus.

University Plaza
University Plaza Credit: Grice Connect

Graeme Rael, President and CEO of Rael Development Corporation based in Dallas, Texas made a presentation about the project at the council meeting. 

They are proposing building a large multifamily, student housing complex on this site.  Mr. Rael pointed out that this is an underutilized piece of property and this plan would be the highest and best use for the property. 

The proposal includes 600 beds of residential space with minimal commercial use.  It would include Statesboro’s first multi-story parking garage which size will be determined based on potential shared parking agreement with Georgia Southern University.

Approximately 25% of the complex will be one studio and one bedroom.  The remainder will be multi bedroom apartments.  They will construct at a recommended ratio of .7 spaces to one bed.  Council approved this zoning request.

According to Justin Williams, Planning and Housing Administrator for the City of Statesboro the next step is for Rael to get an updated survey creating a new parcel for the plaza, followed by plan submission for a land disturbance permit.

There still is a ways to go, but overall the zoning and variance approval is a very positive step in the right direction.

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...