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UT Austin Adds Student Housing Options to Increase Campus Access, Affordability

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Dobie Twenty21. Courtesy of Dobie Twenty21

AUSTIN, Texas — With two major real estate deals, The University of Texas at Austin is adding housing to accommodate more than 1,700 students as part of its long-term efforts to address affordability and keep students close to campus.

The university just closed on the purchase of Dobie Twenty21, formerly known as the Dobie Center. The 27-story apartment building on the southwest corner of the main campus has 980 beds in 504 units, with parking for more than 600 vehicles.

The acquisition comes on the heels of authorization in August from the University of Texas System Board of Regents to build new graduate student housing in UT Austin’s East Campus area between Comal Street, East 21st Street, Leona Street, and south of Manor Road. The university plans to add about 780 beds in this area.

Dobie Center circa 1980. Photo by Larry D. Moore.

“Getting back to near-normal operations this semester has rekindled our passion for the residential experience and campus community, which are central to the UT experience,” said President Jay Hartzell. “And we know that having students closer to campus helps them build community and thrive academically.”

The new housing options will help address affordability for students navigating Austin’s competitive real estate market. The two projects will increase the inventory of affordable student-housing options while reducing the time and money it takes students to travel to campus, enhancing the overall student experience.

“We are excited about an expanded inventory of residential housing options that makes it possible for more students to live with us,” said Soncia Reagins-Lilly, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “The proximity of the new housing to campus will also increase access to valuable student support resources.”

Located right in the heart of Austin overlooking downtown and the Texas Capitol, UT Austin has one of the best urban locations of any American university. But a land-locked location and the city’s booming real estate market present challenges for expansion.

“We wanted to seize this opportunity to add student housing and provide flexibility for future campus expansion,” said Hartzell. “Our location is a huge draw for students, with incredible access to internships and experiences in one of the country’s most dynamic cities. These new options will further enhance our ability to attract the best students, leverage our location, and become the country’s highest-impact public university.”