There are still plans for a second Main Street Commons apartment building to be constructed, but the chance of it becoming a feasible housing option for students by next year is slim, general manager Greg Colwell said.
“We’re focused on what we have right now,” he said. “It’s unlikely at this point that we will have a second building open for next school year, but it’s not set in stone.”
The holdup, Colwell said, has to do with leasing.
“We wanted to see where we stood in early November with leasing, so we started renewing leases Oct. 3,” he said. “We are at about 25 percent occupancy right now for next year.”
Colwell said the complex held a focus group to see where residents wanted improvements.
“We looked at what was important to residents, so now the courtyard has furniture, there is privacy tinting on the workout windows, we’re installing bike racks and now the back stairwell, which used to be exit-only, is an entrance,” he said.
Though wireless internet is only available on the first floor, Colwell said that was not an issue for residents.
“The first floor has free WiFi, but the other floors have to pay for a plug-in wireless setup,” he said. “It wasn’t a big issue with the students, so we don’t plan on changing that right now. We’re not saying we won’t eventually have it, and we’re considering it for the second building.”
A different model may be included in a second complex building.
“For phase two, we want to look at four-bedroom units because we think that would be more cost-effective,” he said.
Out of 196 available beds, 60 have signed leases for next year, with 45 of them being current residents, but some students who call Main Street Commons home are looking for an out next year.
“I wanted to live there because it’s brand new and I thought it’d be cool to be one of the first ones living there, plus there’s separate bathrooms and bedrooms,” sophomore construction major Mike Faith said.
The $659 monthly rent is a cost he’s not willing to cover another year, Faith said.
“At the time, I thought the rent wouldn’t be bad, but now it’s a reason I’m not coming back next year,” he said.
Sophomore accounting major Alexa Clink said she opted for Main Street Commons this year because it cost less than moving in at her sorority house.
“Main Street was cheaper, but I won’t be back next year because I can’t afford it,” she said. “The TV wouldn’t work, the floor in the kitchen was peeling and I thought the management was pretty poor.”
Clink said other students have concerns similar to her own.
“I’ve heard other people aren’t coming back next year either,” she said. “Because of the quality of the building, the rooms seem cheap and it’s overpriced for what we’re getting.”
Sophomore entrepreneurship major Chris Jackson said he liked the idea of living somewhere brand new instead of the residential halls.
“It seemed like it’d be nice,” he said. “It was set up well and the price didn’t seem as bad as it does now.”
Jackson said amenities he had expected were never installed.
“I was expecting grills and hot tubs, and it seemed like the apartments would be bigger,” he said. “I won’t be coming back next year.”
Colwell said he has seen no indication that filling the beds for the 2012-2013 school year will be an issue.
“We are more full at this point this year than we were last year, and we ended up filling 90 percent of our beds,” he said. “As far as we’re concerned, we are very comfortable with where we’re at.”