Looking at off-campus options for students

Rent, proximity to campus and the social scene are details most take into account when deciding where to live. Students are familiar with places on campus, but are not as knowledgeable about off-campus places, said Mitch Kesler, property manager of The University Village of Champaign.

“One of the main reasons people don’t live in these places is because they think it is far away from campus,” Kesler said. “While that may be true, there are a lot of other perks to living off campus.”

Is living off campus worth it? A closer look at the popular off-campus apartment complexes revealed the pros and cons.

h2. One Illinois

*One North:* 1601 N. Lincoln Ave, Urbana_

*One South:* 1321 N. Lincoln Ave, Urbana_

The apartment complex consists of One North and One South, but both operate as one property.

“One North has an indoor swimming pool and One South has an outdoor pool,” said Sam Mtunga, marketing manager for One Illinois. “Residents have access to both properties.”

One of the many perks of living at One Illinois is that even though it is off campus, it is not as far as many would think.

“Of all the off-campus apartments, One Illinois is the closest to campus,” said Mtunga. “You get the privacy of living off campus without having to be 10 miles away from your classes.”

*Amenities:* Full kitchen with dishwasher and microwave, private laundry with washer and dryer in each room, air conditioning, free high-speed internet and expanded satellite TV with HBO included, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, game rooms, tennis, basketball courts and volleyball courts, computer labs, free parking, 24-hour maintenance crew that lives and works on site.

*Types of Rooms:* 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms.

*Rent:* Rent includes everything except for electricity, but residents have the option to pay for both all at once. Pricing also depends on which location (North or South) residents choose.

*Getting to campus:* 22Illini stops right in front of property every 10 minutes

*Pros:* Besides the array of amenities, Mtunga said living at One Illinois gives students more for their money.

“It’s a fun place to live and it’s a nice and home-like community,” Mtunga said.

Also, residents of One Illinois are entitled to a perks program to receive discounts from campus businesses.

*Cons:* It takes at least 20 minutes to get to downtown Champaign.

h2. University Village at Champaign

*Location:* 2001 North Moreland Blvd., Champaign, next to Market Place mall

*Amenities:* The complex was built in 2006 and has updated appliances, including an indoor sports court (basketball and volleyball), pools, fitness center, tanning center, game room, sand volleyball court, computer lab, 24-hour maintenance and service desk, walk-in closets, and washer-dryer in all rooms.

“We have a gated community, and the residents are given a key fob to get into the property,” Kesler said. “Our property is very secure, so residents can feel safe, and it is also a quieter community for people who want their privacy.”

*Types of Rooms Available:* 2, 3, and 4 bedrooms

*Rent:* $505 (2 bedroom), $410 (3 bedroom), $394 (4 bedroom).

*Pros:* The apartments are renovated each year. Rent is all-inclusive (including electricity, cable and water) and each room is equipped with 100 megabytes worth of Internet. Apartments are fully furnished and each bedroom has its own bathroom. The apartment complex is also near Colbert Park, a 52-acre park with a stocked lake, walking/running/biking trails, amphitheatre, soccer fields and basketball courts.

“Another great thing about us is that we do individual leasing,” Kesler said. “You can sign the lease at any time, and everything, including parking and Internet, is included in the rental fee.”

*Getting to Campus:* Shuttle comes every hour and 10Red bus stop is 100 feet away from the complex and comes every 40 minutes.

*Cons:* “We have a shuttle bus that comes every hour, which can be kind of a pain if you’re running late to class,” Kesler said. “We usually advertise to U of I students who are upperclassmen or graduate students.”

h2. The Pointe

*Location:* 1601 East Florida Ave, Urbana

“Most of the students who live here are upperclassmen or medical or law school students who want to feel more spread out,” said Clarence Haynes, senior in LAS and community assistant for The Pointe.

*Getting to campus:* Red and Green lines run every 10 minutes in the morning, 20-30 minutes in the afternoon. A shuttle comes every hour to go to campus and other locations where the bus doesn’t stop.

*Types of Rooms:* 2-3 bedrooms.

*Rent:* $499 (2 bedroom), $384 (3 bedroom), plus $40 for electricity

*Amenities:* Hot tub, swimming pool, computer lab, wireless high-speed internet, washer and dryer in every apartment, fitness area with basketball courts, private swimming pool with hot tubs, free tanning, game room, and every apartment has a private balcony.

*Pros:* Located right next to Meijer and Urbana Wal-Mart, which Hayes said is very convenient.

“There are lots of businesses in walking distance, so if you need to go to Wal-Mart, it won’t take you that long,” Hayes said. “If you’re on campus, you may have to wait for the bus, which can run every 45 minutes.”

*Cons:* The shuttle only comes every hour to go to campus.

Zoe Corso, junior in LAS and resident at The Pointe, likes the atmosphere of being off campus but said the transportation to and from campus can be a bit challenging.

“I wanted to be more independent and have more privacy,” she said. “I usually take the bus to class in the mornings, but if I have class in the afternoon I have to make sure to catch the shuttle on time since the bus doesn’t run as often.”