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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The McLain Housing Project disregards the San Marcos community

Quinn Fanta

The McLain Housing Project is a new development venture that aims to provide students with more living options near Texas State. However, this project not only replaces the affordable apartments currently there but also has harmful implications for the status of the historically residential neighborhood.

On April 16, the San Marcos City Council approved the project’s continued development. It is set to be built at the crossroads of Lindsey and North Street, meaning both Lindsey Oaks and The Elms apartment complexes will be demolished in the process.

Considering how both of these properties offer rent under $1000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a central location, losing them poses a great obstacle to current residents.

The new apartments will be purpose-driven student housing, primarily intended to house those attending Texas State with a rent-by-the-bed set up for temporary residents during the school year.

As a result, the long-term residents at Lindsey Oaks and The Elms will have to find temporary housing before moving into the McLain once it’s finished. Further, with rent increases, some residents will likely need to find new permanent homes altogether.

While there are some promises to still house certain tenants at their current rates, including 10 families and anyone over the age of 57.

Continuing the pattern of prioritizing temporary student housing over San Marcos residents, to build the complex, the developers needed the city council to deem the neighborhood a “High-Intensity Downtown” instead of an “Existing Neighborhood.”

Essentially, the entire character of the neighborhood has been shifted for the sake of the new apartments.

Labeling the area “High-Intensity Downtown” means it is now designated for constant development and change, so other developers could potentially begin to modify the area further. The current McLain Project is a threat, but due to the relabeling, there is a further looming fear of other developments uprooting the neighborhood.

The housing project harms both the neighborhood and the residents living in it. The area has its roots in the houses and families that let it be designated as a residential area. The effort to build a new apartment complex completely shifts it towards a new purpose that doesn’t accommodate the current residents.

Not only does the McLain Project pose a threat to the neighborhood, but its development deserves scrutiny.

The housing project is operating under Kenyon Companies, beginning the project in August 2023. Secretary of State records show the company is not legally registered in Texas. It is registered in Delaware, but the company hasn’t filed taxes or documented income since 2020 when it began.

The company also lacks a proper website and lists its address as a brewery, one completely separated from the company. The company’s proposal for the McLain Project has clear holes, as it fails to uphold a standard of security San Marcos residents should be able to rely on.

Overall, the McLain Project is another part of a pattern in how Texas State is slowly starting to dominate over San Marcos to an unprecedented extent. The school has already purchased two apartment complexes and is constantly building more dorms. Frankly, student housing is saturated.

The McLain Project is completely unnecessary in the context of other student-housing ventures, harming current residents without any real justification. We can only wait to see if they’re well accounted for, but the new project will undoubtedly bring some struggles. The community should be protected; honestly, seeing it taken for granted is heartbreaking.

-Samuel Marentes is an English junior

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor in Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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