Since The University of Tampa partnered with The Henry Apartments to expand student’s off-campus housing options, many students have noticed an influx of school advertisements for the downtown apartment complex.
In the past, UT’s Office of Resident Life has been heavily criticized by students and parents for lack of resources for off-campus housing. With sophomore and freshman standing students, along with transfer students, given priority housing choice, upperclassmen are virtually forced to rent an off-campus house or apartment.
Greg Minder, owner representative of The Henry, is the founder and principal of InTownGroup, a company that sets out to revitalize Tampa Bay’s downtown housing. Minder said he has been talking to the university’s President, Ronald Vaughn, in order to accommodate UT’s growing population and off-campus housing issue.
Minder said that The Henry is built for UT “students who want to have an environment that has student purpose behind it.” This purpose includes living spaces and a community geared towards both student social and study life.
“It is an extension of many of the ideas that come from on-campus housing that is able to be supported in the off-campus world,” said Minder.
Prior to The Henry’s construction, Resident Life opted to only develop off-campus housing resources, such as housing fairs and online information. The university’s website for off-campus housing includes links for a map with popular apartments in the area, an Off-Campus Facebook Page, and UT Student Sublease and Roommate Search. But since the agreement with The Henry, UT added a section outlining The Henry’s amenities under “Preferred Off-Campus Housing for Upperclassmen”.
Paul Augello, UT’s housing coordinator said the university has agreed to promote The Henry Apartment Complex “as the preferred off-campus housing community for UT students.”
“While Residence Life does not have a management or operational role at The Henry,” said Augello. “We do recommend it as a great option for upper-class and graduate students when it opens in Fall 2021.”
Natalie Soriano, a rising junior Philosophy and International Business major, plans on transferring to UT in the Fall of 2021. Already, Soriano secured her apartment in The Henry for the upcoming semester.
“I found out about it on the UT website for off-campus options,” said Soriano. “And I decided to live there because I really liked [the amenities] it had to offer, as well as proximity to the campus.”
Located just a half mile from campus, The Henry offers one to four-bedroom floor plans. The complex also markets their free shuttle to and from campus, 24/7 grab and go market, luxury study rooms, a resort style pool, all with individual leases. All of the apartments’ rent already include water, wifi, and trash fees. The apartments also are fully furnished for renters. But with their lowest rent starting at $1049 per person for a four-bedroom, two-bath apartment, many students may still feel left out of the price range for this off-campus housing option.
“One of the things that the university was concerned about was that we were not an extremely lower cost option that would draw students away [from on-campus housing],” said Minder.
Soriano, a current Los Angeles resident, believes that the amenities and downtown location put The Henry as a “really fair pricing” option for students. And overall, the university was decently helpful in her search.
“They only listed The Henry on their website for off-campus options,” said Soriano. “Any other places I found through research on my own. Though, the school visit itself did help me to feel more prepared to move to Tampa.”
Since The Henry is independently owned and operated by a student housing real estate company, InTownGroup together with Peak Campus, UT was uninvolved in the complex’s pricing and building decisions. This also means that while UT and The Henry share an agreement to promote leasing under the complex, Resident Life does not enforce policies off campus. Though, Augello warns students that “both on and off-campus violations of the Student Code of Conduct may be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.”