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New off-campus housing opens

Lesley Stevenson | Thursday, September 12, 2013

Two new off-campus housing developments are offering increased and more luxurious amenities to students in the market for a home beyond the dome.
University Edge, an apartment complex to the northwest of campus, includes a fitness center, business center, pool, outdoor grills and a TV and game room, property manager Nicole Woody said.

“It’s more resort-style life,” Woody said. “It’s really all-inclusive … It’s very common in student housing now to have these types of amenities and it’s just not something that’s ever been brought to South Bend before. We really just want to change the way off-campus housing is perceived.”

“For the space and the amenities it was definitely the best value of the [apartments] that I looked at,” senior Emma Buckley said. “The only bad thing was that it was a lot farther from Eddy Street, but if you have a car it wasn’t bad.”

Buckley signed a lease at University Edge after returning from studying abroad in London last fall.

Apartments at the Belfry, a new Holladay Properties complex located at 700 Notre Dame Avenue, are fully furnished for competitively low prices, according to their website.

“They come with granite countertops, top-of-the-line appliances and include washers and dryers in each unit,” property manager Kahli Anthony said. “And they’re walking distance to Notre Dame.”

Anthony, who is also the property manager of neighboring Holladay property Darby Village, said the Belfry offers two-bedroom units with a personal bathroom for each bedroom. She said the close proximity to Notre Dame and Eddy Street Commons makes the location ideal for students.

“We feel that with Darby and Belfry, students are getting a place that’s larger than the other options out there and for a lesser price,” Anthony said.

Dublin Village, a townhouse community close to Saint Mary’s College, offers townhouses and a neighborhood unlike that of the typical apartment complex, Erin Nanovic, a Saint Mary’s senior, said. Nanovic’s house was constructed in 2005 and was renovated last year after smoke from a fire next door damaged the building.

“[Dublin Village is] a lot like Eddy Street in the sense that there’s normal families there too,” Nanovic said. “The community is awesome.”

Currently the Office of Housing has no set relationship with property managers or off-campus students. Assistant Director Bill McKenney said the department was open to expanding its resources for off-campus students, but remained completely committed to on-campus housing.  

“The experience in our residence halls is something that we firmly believe in,” McKenney said. “If you look at the renovations that we’ve got, we’ve really tried to improve the quality of life … We believe that it is an opportunity for someone to stay for four years.”

McKenney said the new options for off-campus apartments and townhouses did not affect residences on campus.

“I can say that our numbers for on-campus housing are about the same as last year, so we’re seeing the exact same number living in our residence halls, and our graduate communities are hovering around the same as well.”

Senior off-campus president Erin Killmurray said the new complexes did not impact her and the Off-Campus Council either.

“The only relationship is that we now serve more students and we need to plan around that,” Killmurray said. “One effect I am hoping this increase in options will have is that students will feel less pressure to sign leases two years in advance.”

Killmurray said the Off-Campus Council was planning new initiatives to keep off-campus students more connected with the University, including reliable access to dorm listservs and information about campus events.

“Personally I feel like moving off campus does not take away from the Notre Dame experience in any way,” Killmurray said. “It’s a great combination of being part of both the Notre Dame and the South Bend communities.”