College Hill apartments provide perks; safety for new residents

College Hill apartments provide perks; safety for new residents


From spacious bathrooms to private balconies, modernized kitchens to ceramic floor tiling, the evidence of luxury at the newly constructed College Hill Apartments is more than plentiful. Characterized as comfortable, stylish and convenient, the vision for this $30 million plan first began in 2005, when the College Hill district consisted mostly of abandoned buildings. It was then that First Management Inc., known for much of its real estate and commercial property in the Midwest region, started making plans to renovate the unused area. Actual construction began around the first of this year.

Consisting of units ranging from one to three bedrooms, Building A opened in mid-July. The first of 10 buildings to be finished, the four story apartment unit sits at 1635 S.W. Washburn and is currently full. Property manager Renee Chamberlain explained that the majority of Building A’s occupants are students.

“Because it’s located so close to campus, we knew that students would be interested in taking advantage of that convenience,” said Chamberlain.

Chamberlain added that location is just the beginning.

“When construction of the entire project is completed at the beginning of next year, the development will include community features such as a 45-seat movie theater, a top-of-the-line fitness center, a business center with computer access, a swimming pool and hot tub,” said Chamberlain.

Rent per month ranges from $615 for a one-bedroom apartment to around $1000 for a three-bedroom. Chamberlain believes that while students may be paying more in comparison to other local rentals, the comforts of free DVD rentals, free daily continental breakfasts and high-speed Internet more than make up for the extra money spent.

Senior Monica Pyle agrees. In previous years Pyle resided in the Washburn Village, located on campus. She and her roommate, junior HaLee Markos, made the decision at the beginning of summer to move into the College Hill Apartments. They currently occupy a two-bedroom apartment with the shared rent of $815 a month.

“This being our first time renting an apartment, we went with College Hill because of the location and the fact that it was new,” said Pyle. “While I was surprised by the initial cost, having the included washer and dryer and my own bathroom were things that made me change my mind.”

Markos found that she was actually paying the same, if not more, to stay in the Washburn Village for nine months as compared to an entire year’s rent at College Hill Apartments.

“Even though I’m getting more for my money here, I felt a lot safer while living on campus,” said Markos.

Chamberlain said that security has been hired to patrol the surrounding areas of the apartment development. Residents also have the option of activating an alarm system that is built into each unit.

With 183 units in all, January’s finished product will spread from 13th Street to 17th Street. It is hoped to attract students, families and young professionals. Buildings A, B and C will each contain vacant commercial space for future retail businesses. Buildings E, F and J feature 24 units of townhomes with starting prices of $130,000.

While a number of apartment complexes are located around the same area as Washburn University and the College Hill Apartments, Chamberlain is optimistic about the development’s future because of the positive feedback she has already received from occupants.

“Because we offer so many amenities and perks, I don’t think that we’re even comparable to surrounding apartment residencies,” said Chamberlain. “Our main goal is just to make sure we are taking care of our own residents and their needs.”