Housing options to rise with student enrollment

With each new semester, enrollment at The University of Alabama continues to climb.

Along with a dramatic rise in students, new housing complexes are sprouting all over Tuscaloosa to meet the demand. In fall 2012, the largest freshman class in UA history, almost 7,000 students, made the move to Tuscaloosa.

With all of those students eligible to move out of the dorms in the summer, along with other students looking to move, the competition between new complexes being built is already on.

Julie Elmore, assistant director of off-campus and greek housing, said she believes having variety in housing is always helpful.

“There have been a number of new developments over the last few years and with the University’s continued increase in enrollment, it is nice for our students to have off-campus housing options,” Elmore said. “There are many bigger properties being built, including The Gates at Cedar Crest, The Lofts at City Center, Old Row at Cloverdale, Green Bear, The Avenue at Tuscaloosa, 513 Rock Point and more, and also many small properties with 4-5 units being built.”

With the possibility of more than ten new complexes being completed by the fall, each development hopes to attract students with services not offered by others. The Lofts at City Center, a complex being built on the corner of McFarland Boulevard and 13th street, is working to separate itself from the pack with food services and various stores in the complex, retail agent Adam Pisarsky said.

“It is going to be much more than housing,” Pisarsky said. “It is going to be a community, with restaurants and retail in the front.”

Phase one of the complex, which is due to be complete by move-in day August 17th, will feature a free parking garage, a 24-hour clubhouse, fitness center, study room and two pools. Phase two, which will begin after the fall opening, will include restaurants and a shopping center, along with more housing. Pisarsky also said rent prices will start at $547 per person.

While the 500,000 square-foot facility will surely be a community by itself, other new complexes are focused on keeping things simple for students.

Both 513 Rock Point and Old Row at Cloverdale will be located near the Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium on Coliseum Road, and both use the ability to walk to class as a top selling point. Old Row at Cloverdale is designed for students who wish to live with multiple roommates, offering only five bedroom units at $645 per person.

Additionally, while The Lofts and 513 Rock Point both offer between two and four bedrooms, only Rock Point offers one-bedroom units.

The Gates of Cedar Crest, located on 15th Street, also boasts its closeness to campus, but the main element they offer students is spaciousness, Charles Edwards of H.A. Edwards Real Estate said.

“What we are going for is space. Not living on top of each other, getting out of dorms, where you are in a 10×10 room, but moving to a 12×14 room,” Edwards said. “Pretty much, if you want some breathing room, come here.” The gated community will only offer two bedroom units, at $1,350 a month for both.

With these complexes and more on the way, the days of dorm life will soon be in the past for many students at the Capstone.