Students shy away from St. Paul housing

Significantly fewer students seek housing near St. Paul campus each semester.

by Rachel Raveling

Although several of the University of MinnesotaâÄôs colleges are located on the St. Paul campus, more students live in Minneapolis than in St. Paul.

Experts say the area could accommodate more students but thereâÄôs not enough demand.

As for dorms, Bailey Hall is the only option on the St. Paul campus.

Students, usually freshmen, are placed in housing on the St. Paul campus and are not happy about it, said Mannix Clark, associate department director at Housing and Residential Life. He said most students want to live close to where classes in their major are located and also want to live by their friends.

Although hundreds of students enroll in classes like American Sign Language and Foundations of Biology, which are often held in St. Paul, the campus doesnâÄôt attract many students as residents.

Clark said he hasnâÄôt heard of anything in the works to encourage more students to live near St. Paul campus.

Aside from Bailey Hall and the University-sponsored Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative, which caters primarily to student families, there arenâÄôt many options for students looking to live on St. Paul campus.

The surrounding neighborhoods are largely occupied by families, said Justin Miller, city administrator for Falcon Heights.

Though it doesnâÄôt appear student-friendly at first, Miller said he thinks thereâÄôs a market for more student-living facilities near campus.

Some apartment buildings rent to students, but they are at full capacity, he said.

Several properties around the campus have been rezoned for higher-density living, Miller said, making it possible for them to become student rentals in the future.

Straying farther from the main parts of campus can be cheaper.

Lynn Baldus, a history senior, lives on Raymond Avenue in Falcon Heights and pays about $425 a month for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment that he shares with two others. He said his girlfriend also lives in St. Paul and pays $325 a month.

The newer developments on the East Bank can cost up to $2,150 per month.

Prachi Mishra, a marketing senior, lives in Dinkytown and said there isnâÄôt anything anyone could say to persuade her to move to the St. Paul campus. ItâÄôs more convenient as a student in the Carlson School of Management to live in Minneapolis, and most of her friends live just a few blocks away.

âÄúIâÄôll drive you to your classes,âÄù is the only thing someone could tell Maddie Hayes, a recreation, park and leisure studies senior, to get her to live on the St. Paul campus. She currently lives near Rollins Avenue and walks to class every day. She said she wouldnâÄôt want to live much farther from her classes.

Even if more students showed an interest in living near the St. Paul campus, they might struggle to find places to live.

The neighbors would probably need to be assured that students would maintain their clean and quiet lifestyles, without being too rowdy or noisy, said Wayne Groff, a realtor with Edina Realty in Roseville, Minn.

Groff agreed there is a market for student housing, but since most homes in the area are fairly expensive âÄî $300,000 to $400,000 âÄî most owners would not purchase them to rent them. He also said there isnâÄôt much land in the area to make any new developments around campus.

Even the way people search for housing is different near the St. Paul campus, Groff said. The easiest way to find housing isn’t to look on Craigslist âÄî itâÄôs to put your name and number on a bulletin board outside a coffee shop, or walk around and see whatâÄôs out there.