Main Street Commons still half empty

The Nov. 1 deadline Main Street Commons investors had hoped the complex would be full by has long passed and 50 percent of the building is still unclaimed.

“We expected this more [than having it filled], but the investors wanted it to be filled before groundbreaking by October,” said Main Street Commons Leasing Agent Jennifer Dunbar. “I felt like investors wanted it to be filled, but they had money on the table.”

Dunbar said the residents are currently all Bradley students, the majority of them being juniors and seniors.

“Also, it is going to be open co-ed,” she said. “Not many students are living co-ed, but here we are at only halfway. We’re excited to see how this goes and head into the spring semester.”

In addition to allowing co-ed living arrangements, students will be able to share bedrooms.

The construction is on schedule, and the building is set to open by the start of the next semester, Coldwell Banker Devonshire Realty member Shawn Leussy said.

“We are currently signing leases and we are ready to sign more,” he said. “A pool is still in the design right now, but it is still subject to change. We have made some other design changes, as well, like washers and dryers in each unit. It’ll be ready for the students in the fall.”

It’s not clear exactly why the building, which will be by far the newest living option in the West Bluff, isn’t renting at the pace investors had hoped, though the $659 per person rental price sticker shock is likely a culprit.

Learning behavior specialist major Jennie Balikov said the amenities and convenience are what helped her choose to lease an apartment in Main Street Commons.

“It seemed convenient enough, and I really like that I can get my own room and bathroom,” she said.  “I also like that it already has furniture and good security … when you break it down it’s not as expensive as it seems.”

After an initial option to live in the St. James apartment complex fell through, Balikov was still able to sign a lease at Main Street Commons.

“At first I didn’t even consider living there, but when we did decide to sign a lease we didn’t worry about getting in,” she said. “They were still asking to get people to sign leases.”

Despite the co-ed option and fully furnished apartments, Balikov said she thinks students will not be more eager to move in next fall.

“People just can’t seem to find the deal in it,” she said.