Students hope UT will improve living conditions at DobieTwenty21 apartments since purchasing the center

Kaushiki Roy, News Reporter

To create more housing options for students closer to campus, UT purchased the Dobie Twenty21 Student Spaces apartment center for $104 million on Oct. 12.

Located on the corner of 21st Street and Guadalupe Street, Dobie is 27 stories with 980 beds in 504 units, according to a UT press release. University spokesperson J.B. Bird said the apartment’s proximity to campus will improve students’ academics. Some students hope the University will improve the building’s infrastructure now that UT has acquired it.

“This is part of our long-term efforts to address affordability and keep more students close to campus,” Bird said. “Students are forced to navigate a very competitive real estate market and in the long term, anything that the University could do to acquire a significant property near campus will give us the ability to have more students near campus over the long term.”

Bird said he did not have details on if units will be more affordable, but that University-owned housing is generally cheaper than privately owned housing options.

Bird said information about the center and applications for units will be available for all students through the University Housing and Dining website.

“One thing we know from research is that students who live closer to campus do better in school,” Bird said. “They have greater access to support services, whether that’s counseling or mentorship support we offer through university leadership networks.”

Business freshman Abhinav Talluri currently lives at Dobie and said it was the cheapest housing he had seen located so close to campus, but he does not plan on living there again.

“Dobie is perfectly fine on the outside,” Talluri said. “It has great amenities. However, the rooms that we stay in are terrible. There are piping issues, there’s issues like ceilings falling off in some rooms, there’s AC issues where some rooms are super cold and some rooms are super hot.”

Talluri said he hopes the University will improve on some of these issues and implement aesthetic changes to make the complex feel more homey.

“There’s no wood (floors),” Talluri said. “It’s all cement floors, it feels like I’m in prison.”

In response to whether UT plans to address some of the issues at Dobie, Bird said in a written statement that UHD is planning to schedule an event within the next month to meet current residents and learn how staff can better support their living experience.

Aerospace engineering sophomore Rachel Weidman said she has grown tired of the maintenance problems she has experienced while living at Dobie.

“I hope they fix the washers and dryers,” Weidman said. “I haven’t done laundry there in weeks because every time I’ve done it, they’ve messed up my clothes. I think if they could improve that, it would improve people’s living situation.”

Weidman said she does not plan to renew her lease because of her bad experiences at Dobie. She said she would consider renewing her lease if the University implements changes to the apartment’s infrastructure and room quality.

“When I tell people I live at Dobie sometimes the response I get is, ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’” Weidman said. “So I definitely feel like (Dobie’s) reputation will start to improve if UT actually does something to fix living conditions for students.”