Students’ input on off-campus abodes
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Numerous students were interviewed from different off-campus residences to find out what some of the pros and cons were about their current living quarters. Residents of 401 Lofts, The Depot, 22 Exchange, south of E. Exchange St., Fir Hill, and University Edge were surveyed to gauge their views on a variety of subjects relating to their living experience.
Questions asked to residents:
How does location play in the convenience of living there for your lifestyle?
Dan Antoniono, resident of 401 Lofts: I’m pretty active, so with it being a half-mile away from where I usually go on campus, the engineering building—I’m used to walking—so it’s no problem for me to walk. I usually never take the bus unless it’s snowing.
Roma DeLeo, resident of University Edge: The location is perfect, great walk to campus, by far the best. Best location to walk to class. Parking is okay, only because it’s not right beneath the building and I still have to walk across the street to the parking deck and am preyed upon by Akron locals. Chipotle and Penn station are right below.
Travis Hatter, a resident of Fir Hill: I don’t have a car myself so Fir Hill is nice because it’s pretty close to campus. Walking to Polsky sucks but the Roo stops in front of Fir Hill on one of the routes. I never take it though just because I don’t mind walking. If you live at Fir Hill you can have a parking pass for free or pay per month and have an indoor garage spot designated to you, but you can only park in there if you pay.
Rae Turner, resident of 22 Exchange Street: It’s not bad, there’s a Jimmy Johns and Subway right around the corner which is very convenient when I’m hungry. Campus only being five minutes always is nice too.
Nathaniel Justice, resident off Exchange Street: The location of where my house is perfect, it is walking distance to campus, many food places, and a few bars.
Erin Reynolds, resident of The Depot: The location of The Depot plays in the convenience of living for my lifestyle because some of my favorite restaurants are downtown, including Cilantro and Bricco. There is one downside of the location though, because it is downtown there is a parking deck, but the gate that closes for the deck and opens for residents is often broken so it makes parking difficult for residents at times. There is also not much guest parking in the area making it hard to have friends or family over.
Is there a lot of noise pollution?
Antoniono: Let’s see, I’ve been in 22 Exchange, The Depot, I haven’t been in University Edge yet, but I’ve heard from others that it’s noisy—[401 Lofts] is the only place that I’ve been in that is not noisy. I don’t hear a single thing. It’s real quiet in here. That’s why me and Casey, my roommate, are going to stay here next year.
DeLeo: Mainly from neighbors above us. Every step is a stomp. Our ceiling fan will shake.
Hatter: Noise isn’t too bad, I have a balcony and we’re right next to route 8 so you can hear cars if you’re outside. You can’t really hear neighbors too bad unless they are being super noisy.
Turner: The people above us are so loud every night, it’s pretty annoying.
Justice: Noise pollution is something that we have to deal with every day. Whether it’s trains, people yelling, garbage trucks, or people getting their cars stuck on the icy roads.
Reynolds: I live on the side of The Depot that is more near Broadway street, so the noise on my side is very minimal from the trains and traffic, but it is often very noisy on the weekends from neighbors in the hallway, upstairs and outside. In the summer it is very noisy with the pool right outside the first floor window (where my room is located).
Are you allowed to have pets?
Katherine Subotnik, resident of 401 Lofts: I know cats are allowed and I have seen a dog here but not sure if the dog is for a special reason. Not sure on the price.
DeLeo: No pets. If you have a pet, it’s for medical purposes.
Hatter: No pets and no options to pay extra for pets. You can have like a small fish tank I think maybe though.
Turner: Nope, no pets [in 22].
Justice: We are allowed to have any pet if we tell our landlord.
Reynolds: The Depot does allow pets (cats only), but it is an additional $60 a month for rent and you must pay a one time fee in order to have the cat within the apartment building.
What are some of the amenities available with the rental and what is included?
Subotnik: Free tanning, 24-hour fitness area, outdoor pool and grille, and game room. Also they host monthly socials/events that have free food! They have a computer room with macs and PCs. In the apartment there is a washer and dryer, TV, dishwasher, stove/oven, microwave all included.
DeLeo: Washer & dryer in complex. Each room has own bathroom. Free workout gym. Free printing which is really nice. Free tanning. Study rooms. Courtyard, which is beautiful and there are grills. TVs are outside. Occasional free snacks. We were told that we would never go over on electric, unless we kept lights on all day and wash a sock at a time. However, every single month, we have an $80 cap and have gone over $20 per person or more throughout my unit (four people).
Hatter: Bills are cheapish, water is a set amount each month so you can use as much water as you want and pay the same normal fee, one washer and dryer room for each floor and it’s $1.50 per load for both so it’s kind of expensive. Heating is also included and depends on how much you have you heat on. Electric and cable are separate and you have to call and set those up with the company. I think in total I pay maybe $320 per person for everything and it’s a fairly big two bedroom 1.5 bath and I live with three other people, two people in each room.
Turner: 22 has everything I need like washer & dryer, a gym which I don’t use, study lounges where I can print but they never have paper. Cable and Internet are cool but the wifi isn’t great which makes it hard for me to do my schoolwork here. I don’t think the price matches the quality. For $574 a month I should have perfect wifi, no water leaks, and more cable channels (HD). It’s all inclusive.
Justice: A washer and dryer were provided with the house when we moved in. Internet and cable we had to get our selves. However heat this year was a lot because of poor insulation.
Reynolds: Amenities available with the rental include washer & dryer, three different types of gyms – one with cardio and weights, one with all machines and then a yoga studio. In addition there is a pool with two outdoor grills encompassed in outdoor lounges, tanning, game room, computer room, study lounges. The bills are very pricy, and honestly I don’t think it is really worth paying. Although it is all-inclusive, with utilities, it is very easy to go over the $120 cap in a four-bedroom apartment during the winter time.
How is the commute to campus?
Subotnik: From 401 it is about a two minute drive and 15 minute walk which isn’t that bad when the weather is nice. Polsky and CBA are super quick to get to and are only about a five minute walk.
DeLeo: Commute is perfect for walking. Nobody really needs to take Roo, it doesn’t stop by the building.
Turner: On the Roo it’s only a two to three minute ride to campus and it only takes five minutes to walk to campus. I have two classes in Polsky which is right down the street which is nice.
Justice: Walking to class is not a problem it only takes around 15 minutes total to get from my house to the classes that I need to be at.
Reynolds: The commute to campus is not bad at all for me because I drive and park at my sorority house, but I know people that take the Roo often and it seems to be reliable and on time most of the time. Walking from downtown in the winter is more difficult because of the icy sidewalks going over the bridge on Exchange Street making it quite dangerous to walk without slipping.
Is maintenance prompt and sufficient?
Antoniono: Honestly, I haven’t even had to contact maintenance yet. I mean I see them, the cleaning crew—they’re out every morning cleaning the stuff. It is honestly kept pretty clean in here. Very different from the other places I’ve been to. But yeah, nothing really broken yet. That’s a good thing.
Hatter: Maintenance comes with in a day or two of request and does pretty well and are always nice. They will come immediately if a serious pipe broke or water was flooding something.
Turner: Maintenance are very nice and usually fix the problem ASAP.
Justice: We have one of the best landlords, he will be there right away if we say that there is a problem with the house. He wants to make sure that we live in a safe house that works properly.
Reynolds: The maintenance is typically very prompt, especially if it is a large issue that needs to be fixed. Otherwise it can take a while if the issue is minor.