Towering Change Could Come to CS Southside Historical Area

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The Hillel Foundation building has served College Station's Jewish Community, in particular Texas A&M students, for over 50 years.

Now, Hillel Foundation's Peter Tarlow said growth is calling for a change.

"It's time for a new building," Tarlow said.

The foundation has entered into an agreement with a Houston developer. As part of that agreement the developer would build a multi-leveled condominium and parking garage, with the second floor becoming the new Hillel Foundation.

The estimated 150-foot tall building would be built on the foundation's one acre lot and once the building is built, the Hillel Foundation's debt for the new facility would be paid.

Before any type of construction could start, the usage for the property would have to be rezoned from a single-family or place of worship use to a multi-use mixed usage. College Station's Assistant Director of Planning and Development Lance Simms said the new rezoning would also give room for the new condominium's height.

"The PDD or the Plan development that they're pursuing would allow some different ranges of building heights," Simms said.

Charles McCandless, an Oakwood neighborhood resident said that is just one problem that could damage the integrity of the Southside's history.

"The basic character of our neighborhood," McCandless said. "I believe that traffic would be insurmountable as far as solving the problem."

Drainage issues and whether or not Texas A&M students would be able to buy into the new facility were other concerns for residents. Tarlow said the latter would not be the case.

"They're meant to be luxury, high-end condominiums geared to possibly retired Aggies who want to comeback," Tarlow said.

Friday's meeting presented an open dialogue for both sides. However, the final decision belongs to the city.

The proposal will be presented to the College Station Planning and Zoning Commission on June seventh.