New apartments causing competition in LSU student housing
BATON ROUGE - Several large apartment complexes are under construction in the LSU area.
About 4,600 new apartment units are expected to be completed this year. According to real estate appraiser Wesley Moore, that's more than twice as many as normal.
"We are going to add a five-year supply in a two-year-span," Moore said. "That ammount of construction will have an adverse effect on all occupancies."
Moore also says the newer complexes will be more attractive for tenants creating competition among the older units in town. Local apartment complex owner Lance Belcher is concerned about all the new units.
"With that many units coming on line at one time, I'm just worried that there is enough growth right now, population growth in Baton Rouge to absorb it," Belcher said.
Much older areas like Tigerland were popular among LSU students years ago. But these days not as many students live in the area and rents are down. Wesley says the new units could hurt areas like Tigerland.
"I would expect to see the physical occupancy to decline and the vacancies rise," he says.
Construction on the first wave of new rentals is expected to be completed in the summer, in time for classes to begin at LSU.