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High-End Student Housing Headed To University Area


Some new housing is popping up in the university area of Charlotte.  It’s geared to students.  So you might think cheap rent, cramped kitchens, shared bathrooms, and dreary stairwells.  And you’d be so wrong. 

The Arcadia complex has a certain mountain-chalet allure based on the drawings.  There will be outside fireplaces, a pool with gazebos, a stand-up tanning studio, and lots of granite counters. 

“I like to tell every student that comes in, ‘You had better do well in your studies, otherwise, this will be the best you’ll ever live,’” says Arcadia’s developer Chad Howie with Sanctuary Companies.    

The complex will have room for 760 students.  Rents start at $525 per student per month and go up to $1,150 for what Howie calls a one person cottage.  That’s close to the range students pay to stay in UNC Charlotte dorms. 

“We have some solid-surface counter tops, not granite, and, no, we don’t do tanning beds,” says Jacklyn Simpson, the university’s director of housing.

She points out students live right on campus and have access to counselors and other staff that can help them adjust to student life.  The university is adding more dorms, but Simpson doesn’t see Arcadia or others like it as competition. 

“When you’ve got a student body of 26,000 and you can house at max, when you’re finished, 7,000, there needs to be some off-campus housing,” says Simpson. 

The university area has long had off-campus apartments geared to students, but this year there’s a bunch of new developments sprouting up.  Arcadia may be the most high-end of them.  But complexes with names like Circle and Millenium One have begun trying to lure students with those granite counter tops and tanning beds. 

“With the addition of the football team and the increase in enrollment last year and UNCC has popped up on the radar as a growing school.  And that has attracted the purpose-built student developers in the country,” says Howie. 

He says the easy access to uptown the light rail will bring in a few years is one more bonus for developers.