New Affordable Micro-Apartments are Coming Near UT

By Shaela Foster

NICHE, a new six-story micro-apartment community with 251 units and prices starting just below $1,000, is coming to North Hyde Park. 

The community is being built adjacent to The University of Tampa at 1116 W. Carmen St, and is targeted for university students and business professionals. 

Construction is set to start in late 2021. The Wingspan Developmental Group has partnered with ABC Capital Corporation to bring this complex to the area. Residents will have the choice of “efficiency, studio, one, two and three-bedroom units” according to Wingspan Development Group

“I’m excited. I hope it’s not a scam and that there’s no catch to it,” said Sophia Sznek,  sophomore pre-veterinary major. “I am constantly refreshing online pages for cheaper, off-campus housing that offer all the amenities I need.”

Amenities include walk-in closets, in-unit washer and dryers, programmable thermostats, kitchens with energy-efficient stainless-steel appliances, with most units having a private patio or balcony.

“It’s a mutual beneficiary trade,” said Leon Hoke, professor of economics at UT. “Nobody is forced to use them.”

The implementation of NICHE will give upperclassmen more affordable options for housing that are within walking distance of the university. 

“I’d love to make the move off campus, and with this one being affordable and within the area, I think it would be a perfect fit for me,” said Kelsey Diggs, junior graphic design major. “My only concern would be with getting a spot, I watched The Henry fill up before construction even finished…I’d hate to miss out on NICHE.”

With the increase of the student population at UT, there is less on-campus housing resulting in students having to look elsewhere. 

UT has accounted for a 30 percent student increase since 2012 according to an article by Patch.

At NICHE, students will have the opportunity to explore the downtown area and soak up the rooftop views, but also be able to entertain friends either in their room, by the pool or with the many other amenities.

The community includes a yoga studio, fitness center, cybercafé, a rooftop deck with a pool, cabanas, fire pits, volleyball courts, basketball courts, and more. 

“These things will bring more congestion, more cars on the road, difficulty parking,” said Hoke. “But from the student perspective, they are more private than the dorms.”

With the micro units, there is a limited amount of space for furniture. Most micro units will include robotic furniture that residents control from their phones. This will allow small-space livers the ability to maximize their living space. 

Along with NICHE being in walking distance, there is a bike lane one block from the complex. The Green Spine, the new secured bike lane, allows students and professionals the safety to bike to work, school, or other places.

“Florida is a very friendly place for business with few hoops and regulations to face,” said Hoke. “If people are deciding that’s their best choice, it’s a market at work.” 

The first units are set to launch in early 2023, so current and future upperclassmen can be on the lookout for affordable and new off-campus housing. 

Photo courtesy of Patch News.

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