According to University Quick Facts, enrollment for the fall of 2012 is 20,502 students and the number of students living in residence halls or on-campus housing is 6,287. Thus, the 14,215 remaining students must either commute or live in off-campus housing.
Off-campus housing has not only been offering plenty of rooms, but they have been improving in quality too.
“We’re seeing a lot of the new properties tend to be luxury apartments,” Harriet Steinbach, coordinator for the Student Outreach Unit, said.
“What I know is that whenever there is a brand new property, they rent out very quickly.”
Some of the newer luxury style apartments rent out before they are done being constructed, Steinbach said. Companies even have purchased land on the property of old apartments to build more luxury style living.
Some of the developments, which have been constructed in the last six years include Willow Trails, Uptown Crossing, the Samantha and Hovey Apartments, The Lodge, the first two buildings of the Flats on Main Street, the Lofts at 1010 S. Main St. and Patriot Station.
The third Flats building, the Flats III, is under construction and set to finish by August of 2014.
A possible factor for the new construction was the decommissioning of five dorms and the remodeling of Tri Towers which led to a loss of 2,420 beds. Since then, 15 student housing units have been put in place, but still a shortage exists of 280 beds.
Even with this statistic, the dorms do not appear to be overfilled.
“ISU does not believe the dorms are overfilled or have too many residents,” David Gill, director of facilities planning & construction management, said.
“Illinois State has a reputation for quality with steady enrollment and a well-publicized campus master plan and long range plan for housing. We might speculate that private developers consider these factors when making their development decisions.”
The off-campus housing market is at an ample time for students to sign, Steinbach said. Properties are available for students to find an apartment and certain companies would be willing to fill any vacancies.
The reason for the housing surge is still unknown, but the implications indicate a bright ISU future.
“We suspect any new housing is to fill a privately identified need,” Gill said. “However, the University has maintained a stable enrollment of between 20,500 and 21,000 for the last several years. All improvements at and adjacent to the University are positive signs about the health and strength of Illinois State University and its programs.”
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