Apartment complex offers different policies, amenities

Juliah Rueckert

From the outside, GrandMarc at Seven Corners doesn’t look very impressive. The leasing offices are housed in a trailer, while scaffolding and other construction remnants surround most of the perimeter.
Stepping inside, however, is a different story.
Inside the leasing office, designer furniture is displayed along with the elaborate floor plans of the building. Everyone wears a gold-plated name tag, bearing only their first name.
As University area housing crumbles, new buildings are being erected to accommodate the growing number of students unable to locate suitable housing.
GrandMarc, which opened this August, is the newest and arguably the most luxurious and expensive of the local developments. Controversy has recently arisen over the cost of living at the new development.
Some new residents said the rent isn’t that big of a concern for them.
“(The price) is comparable to where I am right now,” said Mike Schrupp, a mechanical engineering freshman. He was a resident of Pioneer Hall before signing a lease with GrandMarc.
A single room in a residence hall costs more than $2,700 per semester. With less than four months in a semester, the total price averages to be between $800 and $900 per month.
The GrandMarc prices per bedroom range from $670 to $990 per month. Both GrandMarc and residence halls include all utilities, including high-speed Internet connection, electricity and heat.
GrandMarc bedrooms include a private bathroom, a full-size bed, maple cupboards and designer coffee tables.
“It kind of has a Scandinavian flavor to it,” concierge James French said about the furniture.
GrandMarc also differs from the residence halls in the way they treat students in matters such as alcohol use.
“Just like any adult, they should be treated and are treated like an adult,” said Sharon Nault, general manager of GrandMarc. “Whatever they do in their private homes is their business.”
GrandMarc at Seven Corners usually requires residents to lease their own bedroom unless they are married. For this academic year, they are allowing students to double up as part of a deal with the University to help alleviate the housing shortage.
Amid the University-area housing crisis, there was opposition when GrandMarc appeared on campus. Some students requested that the Board of Regents deny the sale of University property to GrandMarc arguing the construction of luxury apartments hinders the creation of affordable housing.
The arguments were not made at the board level, said Jessica Phillips, student representative to the board at the time of the sale. The sale was approved because GrandMarc would provide housing that would alleviate the housing crisis, she said.
“We were really looking for as many ways to increase student housing on or near campus as possible,” Phillips said.
The University sold a parcel of land that was previously used for a 63-space parking lot to the developer of GrandMarc at Seven Corners for $314,500.
“Our land was about a third of the total site,” said University Real Estate Office Director Susan Weinberg. “Other than that, there is no ‘direct connection’ between the University and this development.”
The building is still under construction, with the last set of residents scheduled to move in during early December.