Taylor Woodbury, chief operations officer at the Woodbury Corporation, and Southwest Orem Neighborhood Association Vice Chairman Murray Low both agreed that student housing is essential to UVU during a Pizza and Politics discussion Sept. 11.

Students gathered in the Ragan Theatre to hear both sides of the student housing debate regarding the Palos Verdes neighborhood.  

Senior business management major Joseph Pixton said, “If it’s to go through, it’ll bring positive growth but it’ll require careful consideration and will require some growing pains.”

Senior business management major Joseph Pixton said that the project would bring growth to the area, but will “require careful consideration” because of “growing pains.”

Marc De La Cruz, a sophomore data science major, said “I want [to] hear both perspectives. UVU is a commuter school, and it will be interesting to see if students want that to change or not.”

Low argued that there is a great need for affordable student housing while also leaving Orem’s neighborhoods intact.

He also said he was concerned with the motives behind the Palos Verdes project, claiming that the development wasn’t in the best interest of the students due to the high rent per  unit.

Low claimed the rent would be around $720, and he said he is concerned about the development being across the street from Lakeridge Jr. High because increased traffic would put the children’s safety at risk.

Woodbury countered Low’s claim by saying that of course the company wants to make money off of the project, but that their overall motives behind their involvement was philanthropic.

Woodbury reassured the audience that the project was created for the average student, with market-competitive prices and amenities geared toward the ideal on-campus student environment.

He said the unofficial prices for the units were around $540 a month for an apartment with one bedroom and a private bathroom, or  $700 a month for a studio apartment

According to Woodbury, the project was well thought out and had been revised nearly five times to best address any problems, including the topic of traffic and parking.

Low said that he would be in favor of the project if the traffic and cost issues were fixed. He said he would change his mind further if the housing prices were geared towards the average low income student and if the parking was across I-15, rather than onsite.

Emergency services major Cole Kelly was impressed with the event

“I really like that we can talk about events we can actually do something about,” Kelly said.

Students who are eligible to vote can cast their ballot on the Palos Verdes development during Utah’s general election Nov. 6.

 

Photo by: Angela Davis

Correction:

This article was corrected to fix Taylor Woodbury’s position at Woodbury Corp. He was misidentified as the director when he is the COO.