New luxury apartments rising high above the standards

By Brittany Abeijon

Think about your basic college apartment: stained carpet, an older TV, some polyester furnishings and a mini fridge stocked with beer. Although this is considered standard, two new luxury filled high-rise apartment complexes in the heart of campus are about to raise those standards.

With construction underway at 309 E. Green St. and 310 Burnham at the corners of Third Street and Springfield Avenue, the face of campus living is changing for the trendier and wealthier college student.

The old Burger King at 309 E. Green St. has been demolished, and with amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub and flat-screen televisions in every apartment, this new complex is surely fit for a king.

Campus Acquisitions L.L.C. of Champaign is developing the building at 309 E. Green St., but it will be managed by Roland Realty when it is finished in August of 2008.

Brandon Balazi who currently resides on 408 E. Green St. feels there are better ways to spend money then on skyrocketing rent.

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“For what they will probably charge for rent, a student could afford a car payment and insurance,” Balazi said.

But what about the flat-screen TV?

“With the money I will save living elsewhere, I could buy my own flat-screen TV,” he said.

When completed, this 24-story building will be the tallest in the Champaign-Urbana community. The ground level will consist of businesses, much like Green Street Towers or Park Place Tower, and the following six floors will have 219 parking spots, double the amount of units in the building.

The eighth floor will contain the most valuable selling points for future renters: a fitness complex equipped with outdoor swimming pool, hot tub and exercise room. The remaining floors will consist of mostly four bedroom apartments entirely furnished with top quality interiors.

The added conveniences of the fitness center of 309 East Green are similar to the addition of a grocery store at the apartment complex that will be known as 310 Burnham.

The added luxury to 310 Burnham will be the 28,000 square foot County Market that will stand next to the 18-story apartment complex. The Champaign City Council agreed that putting a grocery store in a location so near Campustown was worth the investment due to the lack of other similar places in the area.

Samantha Lloyd, senior in LAS, is considering attending graduate school at the University and leasing at 310 Burnham.

“Because of my experience with older apartment complexes over the years, living in a newer and nicer complex is definitely something I would consider in my future at the University,” Lloyd said.

Students that choose not to bring cars to school might often find it difficult to head off campus for groceries when they have to rely on a bus or a friend with a vehicle.

“This will be a nice change of pace considering most students have to go off campus to purchase groceries and many other necessities not offered at the stores on campus,” Lloyd said. “It just makes it easier on everyone.”

Although the added luxury of the County Market at 310 Burnham seems logical, some amenities are being added to newer complexes that go way beyond practicality.

A building called 88 West, at 2001 N. Moreland Blvd., is currently available for leasing in the fall and will provide its residents with amenities such as roommate matching, a heated bus stop, tanning spa and salon, indoor basketball court, resort-style pool, sand volleyball, and more.

With all these added extras the line between needs and wants becomes fused. Does a student really need a pool with a sun deck? Or would it be simply nice to have one?

Doug Greene, junior in LAS, thinks that all these amenities are unnecessary for a typical college student.

“Sure it’s nice if you aren’t paying for your own rent, who wouldn’t want an indoor basketball court in their own complex?” Greene said. “But many students are paying for their own rent. I am and I wouldn’t want to pay $200 more just for a pool when I can go to CRCE for free.”

Although this complex has the most additions, the location of it sets it much farther from campus than 309 E. Green St. and 310 Burnham, creating competition among prices and popularity of the three new buildings.

“Honestly, who knows how much they will charge for rent in these places? And who is going to pay it?” Greene said.