Editor’s note: This article is one of three that contributed to the December cover story.
by Molly Cochran
Penn state will soon see a face lift to student living options. Instead of old apartment buildings and shared bedrooms, luxury housing will be an option for students during the fall 2013-spring 2014 school year.
Luxury housing will consist of The Heights, The Retreat, and The Villas. Cozy cottages and houses with back patios, lots of yard, and many amenities will soon be featured.
The Retreat is one luxury housing option that students will have to pick from. Students who decided to live at The Retreat will have a full house to take care of. Each person will have their own bedroom and bathroom. For a 2 bedroom, 2.5 baths that total rent per person would be $885.
Many amenities will await students at The Retreat. A day spa, clubhouse, pool, CATA bus pass, and special Retreat shuttle will all be included in the $299 activity fee, according to Courtney Wilson, the Leasing and Marketing Manager for The Retreat.
The Retreat has gotten a lot of renters already for the fall of 2013 school year.Wilson said she thinks it will attract students who have been living in the traditional apartments around downtown. She added that it will be a hit with Penn State students because of all the amenities.
“We feel everyone loves our cottage concept with our over the top amenities, free parking, unlimited green space, short commute to campus and luxurious Retreat lifestyle,” saidWilson.
The Heights is another new luxury community that is going in on Blue Course Drive. Four bedroom places have already sold out for the 2013-2014 school year. The Heights is also very similar to The Retreat. The Heights also features many amenities with rent. Laying pool side in the summer, free parking, a gym and clubhouse are just a few amenities The Heights has to offer to students.
Emily Reinhart a junior energy business finance major told Voices about why she wanted to move to The Heights.
“For senior year I wanted to live somewhere quieter. Living with my own bedroom room and bathroom and in a house setting would be a good transition between apartment living and living on my own after graduation,” said Reinhart.
Although she is excited about moving off campus into a more “real world,” type atmosphere, Reinhart still has some concerns. She said she is a little nervous about how easily she will get downtown for the night life.
The integration of students and people that live here year round is what The Heights hopes to accomplish. Students would be privileged enough to live in their very own community. Some amenities are a pool, back patios, club house, gym, and spa. Although this all sounds promising will this really help integrate the community with the students? Reinhart thinks it could but probably not.
“I think that there will still be separation between students and people that live here full time,” she said.
What attracts students to The Heights is a chance to live relatively close to campus, but with the feeling of living in their own community. With the many amenities, newer furniture and buildings, and guaranteed own rooms sells to students who are tired of dirty old apartments that you have to share. Reinhart said she thinks students are ready for this.
“Students are ready to get out of dorm living, old and dirty places. And the students that move out there will be ready to keep it nice,” said Reinhart.
With all of the luxury housing going inWilsonthinks that there won’t be much competition because of the differences in housing types.
“The Retreat gives every student their own cottage with ample green space and that is tough to match by any garden-style apartment complex,” said Wilson.
The integration of residential homes and the new luxury communities isn’t a concern for The Retreat. The cottage like housing and architectural style will hopefully draw students in.
“One of the great things about The Retreat is that it is truly a community,” said Wilson.
The Villas are another option for luxury housing for students. Keystone Real Estate and The Apartment Store is developing The Villas for the upcoming fall 2013 spring 2014 school year.
The Villas feature 3 bedroom houses for $595 per person a month, according to Alec Pringle, senior vice president of commercial real estate for Keystone Real Estate. The Villas will be l