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Main Street Commons Construction Starts

Leases have already been signed for apartments in the new Main Street Commons, which is set to be completed by August 2011. A collaboration of Oxbow Development and Coldwell Banker Devonshire, the Commons will be five stories high, complete with 288 two- or three-bedroom apartments.
The Commons are being constructed where Walgreen’s was formerly located and the foundation was poured several weeks ago. 
“The cost for students to live there will be roughly $659 monthly, per bedroom,” said Main Street Commons Marketing Specialist Jennifer Dunbar. “That includes water, appliances, full furnishings, 42” flat-screen TV, free tanning beds, a fitness center and a covered parking lot. The only things not included will be the
electric bill and cable.” Though the apartments will be available to the general public, Dunbar said she is promoting to the Bradley campus first. “This is mainly going to be Bradley student housing,” she said. “We did a study in the area, and when we came to Bradley they welcomed us with opens arms.”
Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna said Main Street Commons construction had been delayed due to the struggling economy, but Bradley had a hand in funding the first phase of building. “We took a piece of our endowment that had been set aside,” he said. “The preliminary stage o fthe project is $12 million, and we gave less than 10 percent of that. The money is not coming from a source that would construct a building on campus or for equipment for labs, so we’re not shortchanging the students. There is a return on our end that will go back to the endowment.” While Bradley is not an owner in the Main Street Commons project, the same residency rules from St. James will apply.  “There are two rules we ask to enforce,” Vice President for Student Affairs Alan Galsky said. “First, only students of the same gender can live in the same apartments.
Second, no kegs. As long as there are students and we are endorsing living arrangements, we have a certain responsibility. Those rules just make sense.”
Dunbar said the Main Street Commons readily agreed in keeping
with those rules.
“Dr. Galsky said he’d really like to stay with the Bradley policies,
and we thought ‘Sure, no problem,’” she said.
The possible bed shortages on campus next year means sophomores
may be able to apply at Main Street Commons; however, St. James would remain off-limits.
“When St. James was developed,
there were a number of zoning
factors pursued,” Anna said. “The proximity to neighborhoods in St. James saw that upperclassmen
might be less disruptive to the area than sophomores [would be]. And if people from the surrounding
houses choose to move in and we don’t have enough beds, that is definitely a concern.”
While students said they were excited to see the project progress,
they had varying opinions on sophomores being able to live on Main Street.
“I would rather stay on campus
for my sophomore year and then move in my junior year so it would be an easier transition
when I move off campus,” freshman nursing major Jennifer Briner said. “I also think the walk back could be dangerous after a night class or something.”
Sophomore English and foreign
language major Emma Devlin said she thought sophomores
should hold off on moving out of the dorms.
“I don’t think sophomores should be allowed to live there because it’s not a typical dorm experience,” she said. “Also, I think the apartments should be co-ed because that’s what you’d get in any other typical community
building.”
Anna said he hopes to see more promising investments in the Main Street Commons progression.
“We were obviously happy to see the development on Main Street,” he said. “We have confidence
in its success.”