The Retreat housing to offer luxury amenities on South Main Street
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 21:09
So long, standard dormitory and apartment-living. Retreats, cottage-like developments for college students, are popping up on campuses around the country, and Newark is next.
The off-campus housing development will be located on South Main Street and its primary office will be located on East Main Street. It is set to be completed by fall of 2014, according to the Retreat at Newark’s Facebook page.
Real estate firm Landmark Properties, stationed in Athens, Ga. undertook the project. Its first “retreat” was constructed at the University of Georgia in 2005, and projects have since expanded to schools like the University of Alabama, the University of South Carolina, the University of Arizona and the University of Central Florida. The firm’s most recent developments opened in August at State College, Pa. and on campuses in Tucson, Ariz. and Oxford, Miss.
Rob Dinwiddie, director of leasing and marketing of Landmark Properties, says the firm both manages and develops its communities and prides itself in its low cost and efficient, timely construction procedures.
“We’ve been doing development for ten years and have never missed a delivery date,” Dinwiddie says.
Dinwiddie says The Retreat will be successful at the university, and many students will be surprised by it.
Newark, Dinwiddie says, is a good place for the “Retreat brand.” The cottages will be different colors and lined with grass and sidewalks, he says. Upon going inside a one, two, four or five-bedroom cottage, one is surrounded by hardwood floors, wooden cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, washer-dryers, multiple closets and crown and floor molding, he says.
Dinwiddie says the amenities included at The Retreat will make it unique from other student housing developments already at the university. Amenities included in the development as advertised on the Facebook page and confirmed by Dinwiddie will be a resort-style pool — the biggest in Newark — a hot tub, a Professional Golfers Association indoor golf simulator, free parking, a clubhouse, tanning, a highly-equipped gym and lots of green space.
The largest floor plan of five bedrooms and five baths will be about 2,200 square feet while the four-bedroom four-bath floor plan will be 1,845 square feet, Dinwiddie says. In total, occupancy allows for 597 students in 169 units, Dinwiddie says.
“The goal is always to reach 100-percent occupancy,” Dinwiddie says.
The newest developments at State College, Pa. and in Arizona and Mississippi have already successfully reached full occupancy, he says, as well as almost all other developments across the country. In order to ensure full occupancy, Dinwiddie says they start marketing to students early.
“We are out at football games and getting our message out on campus,” Dinwiddie says. “We are building brand awareness.”
Although pricing is unknown as of now, he says, the cottages will be priced competitively with other off-campus student housing.
Junior Julie Ervin says she was first introduced to The Retreat when a picture popped up on her Facebook feed from the Facebook group.
“The amenities are unique compared with other things offered around here,” Ervin says. “I’m really drawn to the open space, because everything around here is close and cluttered.”
Junior Olivia Coughlin also says the Facebook pictures caught her attention, leading her to then “like” the The Retreat at Newark page.
“It seems like a cool opportunity to live in a brand new complex,” Coughlin says. “I thought the idea of having cottage-style houses for college students in a development was an awesome idea.”
Coughlin says she realizes she is looking for cheaper housing than on-campus housing, and she thinks The Retreat will most likely be “very pricey” because of the amenities and newness of the development.
Ervin says she doesn’t necessarily think leasing will be expensive, but price is definitely a big deal to her and her parents.
What discourages Coughlin from leasing into The Retreat for her senior year is the distance from campus that the development, located on South Main Street, will be. The Facebook page posted the development is 1.4 miles away, an “easy bike-ride” from central campus. Coughlin says she would not want to be that far away from campus, and she doesn’t think the amenities make up for the distance.
Ervin says the 1.4-mile distance is not an issue because she has a car. She says she looks forward to the amenities most above all else.
Dinwiddie says the leasing office currently under construction on Main Street will be open this month. At that time, students will be able to pre-lease while construction on South Main Street in still underway.