Student apartment complex Moontower set to open in West Campus in 2020

Sara Johnson

Moontower, a new student apartment complex, will open in West Campus in fall of 2020.

General manager Nicole Portugal said the 18-story complex will add 567 housing units to the area. The building will be located at the intersection of San Antonio and West 22nd Streets, and the floor plans at the complex will range from studios to five-bedroom apartments, Portugal said. 

“Our prices vary depending on how high up you want to live and what kind of view you want,” Portugal said. “We do have the student lifestyle and desires in mind, and we want to offer something comfortable
and affordable.”

Portugal said individual units will include 55-inch televisions, in-unit washing equipment and utilities, such as cable and internet, included in rent. She said the building will provide access to a rooftop lounge, individual study rooms and ground floor cafe.

Sports management sophomore Merritt Moreau said these amenities appeal to students who are seeking to live in West Campus. Moreau said she likes when housing complexes have coffee shops in the lobby. 

“I do like having a community study space, just because you don’t always want to be studying in your room,” West Campus resident Moreau said. “Having something close to home
is nice.” 

Portugal said Moontower management will also provide programming for students through Campus Advantage’s Students First Experience. This program provides students with events, community engagement opportunities and referrals to campus resources, according to the official website.

“Students First focuses on living, learning and careers,” Portugal said. “The staff are working really hard to prepare things like events and workshops so residents feel integrated into a student community beyond classes.”

While Moreau said she thought more apartment buildings would create more places for students to live, she does have concerns about losing nonapartment space in West Campus.

“There’ll be less parking for sure, especially for people who are trying to have people in town and want to walk around the area,” Moreau said. 

Portgual said Moontower would have five stories of underground parking space for residents. 

Moreau said more housing would create a wider variety of places for people to live.

“I’m sure when (the buildings) go up, it’ll be a nice place to live, but it feels kind of cluttered,” Moreau said. “They’re packing so much in such a small space.”

Mathematics junior Caroline Latta said students will now have more options to live in an area they might prefer over one that is more affordable but less convenient.

“Pricing can sometimes be an issue,” Latta said. “We obviously live in Central Austin, and housing is really expensive here, and that might drive students away from living closer to campus.”

Latta said increased housing in West Campus might balance out the cost of housing for students and keep students closer to the Forty Acres.

“West Campus is a really safe neighborhood,” Latta said. “The pricing isn’t always within student budget, but with more competition, things will probably be a little bit better.”