Student-only apartments come to UA

“The University of Akron will house 500 more students by 2009 with the completion of a new apartment complex in downtown Akron. However, UA will not own it. Private development company Richland Communities Ltd. was acknowledged at Mayor Don Plusquellic’s weekly news conference on Wednesday where they announced their plans to build downtown student housing.”

The University of Akron will house 500 more students by 2009 with the completion of a new apartment complex in downtown Akron. However, UA will not own it.

Private development company Richland Communities Ltd. was acknowledged at Mayor Don Plusquellic’s weekly news conference on Wednesday where they announced their plans to build downtown student housing.

It’s not finalized yet, we’re evolving through the design process, said Marty Mehall, developer for Richland Communities Ltd.

As currently designed, it would be approximately 150 apartment suites, he said. It’s evolving and it will change slightly, but not much at this point in time.

The residence is planned to be built a few blocks from campus in the block bordered by Main, Exchange, High and Cedar streets.

The apartments will only house UA students.

Mehall said an all-student housing complex is what works for the area. Anyone who wants to live there would have to show proof of enrollment at UA.

That’s what I think works in that location, he said.

Mehall explained the basic design will have some two-bedroom and two-bathroom suites, some three-bedroom, three-bathroom suites and some four-bedroom, four-bathroom suites.

About 450 bedrooms, he said.

Tenants are expected to pay rent, in a unique manner.

It’s at least by the bedroom and you’re responsible only for your bedroom and proportionate share of the common area, Mehall said. Every bedroom has its own lock on it and every bedroom has its own bathroom.

If someone were to move out for whatever reason, until it were re-leased, we’d lock it up.

Mehall explained this helps students because it would mean they are not responsible to pick up extra rent payments if a roommate moves out.

Prices for the new complex, according to Mehall, will start at $649 to $749 a month for each individual bedroom.

When you rent a bedroom, included in that is all the utilities, wired and wireless Internet, video – which will either be cable or direct TV with HBO – and all the amenities on the site are included, he said. We’re comfortable it’s within range of everybody’s spending abilities.

Amenities planned for the residence include a fitness center, game room, community room and study rooms. Mehall also said all apartments will be fully furnished and include a washer and dryer and a full kitchen.

There’s a lot that comes with it, he said.

The design of the new private apartment complex is very similar in design to UA’s Exchange Street residence hall, which opened this fall.

Exchange Street is UA’s newest hall with apartment-style living. Apartments either have two-bedrooms with one bathroom or four bedrooms with two bathrooms, all with independently locking doors, a kitchen and living area.

Demand for on-campus housing has consistently exceeded availability, said director of residence life and housing John Messina. Improving the quality of the off-campus housing inventory serves the students well.

Exchange Street is even priced similarly. According to Messina students who live in Exchange live there from Late August to early May and are allowed to stay there over holiday breaks. The rooms are priced at $7179 a year – approximately $717 a month.

Messina said the apartments in Exchange Street are fully furnished as well and include a full kitchen, and full furniture in the bedrooms and living rooms.

Mehall, however, said the university residence hall was not influential in the design of the new complex.

It’s similar, but the differences is we have a four-bedroom, four-bath and they have a four-bedroom, two-bath, he said.

He said this is the first urban project he has ever taken part in, however it is not the first project in Akron.

The company is also currently working on a private garden-style student housing complex at Kent State University.

Messina said 3862 students applied to live on campus this fall, and 229 were put on a waiting list after UA housing reached capacity.

Approximately 5,000 university students reside in proximity to campus, and the amenities that these new properties offer may prove attractive to them, Messina said.


” #1.1361648:3787929133.jpg:20071023_housing.jpg:The planned, all-student residence will have downtown retail space facing Main and Exchange street with the residential portion on Ceader and High streets.:PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHLAND COMMUNITIES LTD.”