August 11, 2012

PROVO — When Madison Perry, a Brigham Young University student from Provo, moves in to the new Village at South Campus on Aug. 20, she will be living in a first-of-its-kind student housing project in the state. According to Scott Clements, the owner’s representative, projects like this are few and far between.

“This is very exciting for me,” Perry said.

Her mother Kathryn Perry added, “This is a wonderful opportunity for her to meet a lot of people in her college experience. It also provides safety.”

Madison Perry will be one of 944 students at the new complex that features valet trash service, towel service at the state-of-the-art fitness facility and a personal wireless network for each tenant.

The Village at South Campus at 605 E. 600 North consists of two five-story residential towers. The main building has a two-story common area with a swimming pool and hot tub, grocery market, two restaurants, lounge, several group study areas and a grassy area with outdoor grills and picnic areas. Each apartment has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a laundry room. Apartments are 1,100 to 1,600 square feet, and rent ranges from $375 to $475 a month. The complex also offers ADA-approved apartments with larger hallways, accessible appliances and bathrooms with easy access showers with seating. Each apartment also comes with a large storage closet.

The complex offers 690 parking stalls, enough for about three-fourths of its tenants at any one time. About 590 of those will be underground in the one-level parking garage.

A ribbon-cutting was held Friday for dignitaries and the public to take tours of the complex. Provo Mayor John Curtis, who attended BYU and lived in the King Henry Apartments as a student, said the new complex was “truly amazing.” The city is paying special attention to how the parking situation affects the surrounding Joaquin neighborhood.

“We’re watching the parking situation and are optimistic,” Curtis said. “The underground parking is the same footprint as the complex.”

Jeff Rust, director of Corporate Alliance, took the tour as well.

“My favorite part is the natural areas for connecting for the students,” he said. “It was done with a purposeful decision in bringing people together.”

Rust said his only college housing experience was living in the dorms at BYU.

Jamie Dunn, one of three partners of Peak Capital, the developers of the project, said, “We are trying to bring a higher quality to the student marketplace.

“Anytime you do a development of this sort there are issues the city and the developer must work through. As we’ve come to the end this has truly been a positive experience,” Dunn added.

While the complex looks more like a hotel — it even features restaurant room service — it’s not just for rich kids, Dunn said. “There are people who have moved in here just for the high security. Parents are willing to spend $30 more for that.”

The complex sits on the site of the former Joaquin Elementary School and has been in development for several years. The site sat vacant for some years after the original developer went bankrupt. The project finally began moving forward again in 2010.

Late last year Dunn said they were trying to decide what to call the place but people kept pronouncing “Joaquin” different ways. Instead of using the old name they had a naming contest. The student whose name was chosen would get a year of free rent.

At the time Jordan Bready, a junior from American Fork, was serving an LDS mission in Taipei, Taiwan. Her father sent her an email about the contest. “I had lived in a tiny house just south of campus. I had seen pictures of the project going up. It looked like a village, so I named it the Village at South Campus.”

Bready found out she had won the contest soon after she returned home. “I thought I was never going to live in a place like this until I was 45. I’m a poor returned missionary and I am so excited.”

The complex is BYU-approved and is open to students from BYU and Utah Valley University willing to live by BYU housing standards. Taking one class, even an LDS Institute class, qualify a person as a student if they agree with the contract.

According to Dunn, 93 percent of the units have been rented with only rooms for men available. He anticipates it will be filled before school starts in three weeks. There is a waiting list.

Original Article | PDF