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Development to provide luxury student housing

John Cameron | Monday, November 14, 2011

A new condominium-style development on Notre Dame Avenue will be the latest in a string of luxury off-campus student housing complexes around the University’s perimeter.

Darby Row, a project by Holladay Construction Group, is set for completion in June 2012.

Doug Hunt, a 1967 Notre Dame graduate and senior partner at Holladay Construction Group, said the firm is focused on providing a small-scale, quality residence complex aimed at students.

“It’s about quality, not quantity,” Hunt said. “This is a high-end condo development with 35 total bedrooms — 16 two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom [units]. The primary target for our development is undergrads, but there are no restrictions.”

Hunt said Darby Row would have a distinct layout. Each two-bedroom apartment will share a common area with another two-bedroom apartment in the development.

“There’s a common area with a living room, kitchen, washer, dryer, then there’s stairs down to two bedrooms — basically a garden apartment — and stairs up to another two bedrooms,” he said. “Each [pair of bedrooms] is technically an apartment under the city code, but really the idea is that the common area will be shared by two pairs of bedrooms … four students in four bedrooms with a common area.”

Monthly rent for the two-bedroom units will start at $725 per bedroom, Hunt said, and three single-bedroom apartments will be offered at $895. Leases will be for 12 months, but Hunt said tenants would most likely be able to sublet for the summer.

While more expensive than other off-campus options, Hunt said Darby Row apartments would have excellent amenities and features.

“They’re going to be well-furnished, roomy and have the amenities I think students want, both to enjoy their non-study life as well as their study time,” he said. “They’re going to be in a nice setting, the building exteriors will look nice and it will be a secure environment.”

Hunt said the combination of small details and features will make the development attractive to students.

“I think the amenities are important — things like granite countertops, big screen TVs, good finishes, ones that are attractive and durable,” he said. “It’s just the day-to-day environment we’re trying to create.”

Constructing quality off-campus housing is not just about turning a profit or offering students a comfortable living environment, Hunt said. The new development can also improve engagement between South Bend and students by attracting students off campus.

“I think it’s important for Notre Dame students to have a good experience off campus as well as on,” Hunt said. “Providing a quality [housing] environment is part of that. The better experience students have, after they graduate, they’re more likely to come back, stay and build families and businesses.”

A model unit will be available by Jan. 1, 2012, Hunt said. Students interested in the development can contact Rent Like a Champion, the marketing agency for Darby Row, for more information.