Student Living Expands to Downtown

A new sky rise has been added to downtown Tampa. Element, a luxury condominium located on North Franklin Street, is now leasing for residents. But as housing values have dropped, one Tampa company is seeing a demand in downtown housing.’

Intown group, a Tampa based real estate company, helped create this project and also headed Skypoint, the building adjacent to Element, which opened in 2007. It has 34 floors. The tenth floor, also known as the amenities level, includes two pools, a hot tub, and cabanas for hosting small gatherings. Even an outdoor fireplace and some grills will be installed.’

One bedroom residences start at $1,100 per month and two-bedroom residences start at $1,600 per month. Some residents are already moving in next month..

Even with the slump in the economy, this new luxury sky rise right in the middle of downtown Tampa has demand, ‘We have a lot of interest in downtown, and really a lot of people tell us that they’ve looked at a lot of other product and they say they like that this is right in the middle of it,’ Greg Minder, President of Intown group, said.’

But is Element affecting the number of UT students terminating on-campus housing? Schofield wrote that final spring housing numbers for spring are not currently available and that ResLife has not boosted their advertising campaigns because of the new high rise.’

Schofield wrote that on-campus housing is a personal decision. ‘I believe that on-campus living at UT offers an excellent, unique and efficient living and learning experience.’ She wrote that students who live on campus perform better academically. ‘I would advise that students weigh heavily their housing decision,’ she wrote.

Minder, originally from Chicago, has developed in Atlanta, Phoenix and even overseas. He recently moved back to Tampa six years ago. Minder said, ‘It’s just amazing to see this area and how much it’s changed. It’s safe and it’s clean.’

UT sophomore, Lauren Reardon lives in Skypoint and likes the location because she can walk to school everyday.’ ‘Everyone is really friendly and the building itself is very secure,’ she said. However, she said the downside to living there is the parking. ‘I live with my boyfriend but there is only one parking space per bedroom, so that can be a major issue,’ she said.

Lisa Silver, a UT sophomore also lives in Skypoint with a friend. She said she enjoys the ammenities such as the gym, pool and hot tub.
But she also said parking is an issue, ‘Since I live in a one bedroom and my roommate’s parents own the condo, I don’t have a parking space. So I have to pay $72/month to park in the Poe lot down the street,’ she said.’

Element offers onsite parking not for only residents but also to the public. ‘If you were coming down here, you don’t necessarily have to have a friend or a relative that lives here in order to park here,’ Minder said.’

For residents, the parking ratio is one per bedroom. Additional spaces are then leased within the secure parking area. There is also overflow parking for evenings and weekends.’

In reference to on-campus housing, Schofield wrote that she does not know of any students planning to move into Element, but wrote that residence halls offer many opportunities to enjoy rich experiences while developing leadership skills. ‘Through the hall councils and the Residence Hall Association, student residents can become more involved with their peers and with campus-wide decisions,’ she wrote.’

With its lavish amenities, Minder said there are not too many downsides to living’ there ‘Element is an extension of your living room. You meet your friends at the restaurant, meet your friends in the club room, your family, or host parties, or do whatever you want to do,’ Minder said.’ That convenience is all a part of that philosophy- that extension of your own space.

However,’ ‘If you want a single family home or a yard that’s not where you’re going to get it’ Minder said. While UT has the dorm lifestyle,’ Element will not. ‘We have to make sure it doesn’t become rowdy. It’s not a dorm,’ Minder said.

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