Few people may know this, but the University of Michigan in Dearborn is the only four year college or university in the state that does not have housing on or close to campus. It’s a surprising fact for a school that hosts thousands of students each year.

Building a new property to accommodate students in a depressed housing market seems like a sure fire way to lose a lot of money and very quickly. But despite the possible financial upset, Larry Winokur, who’s the managing partner of Urban Campus Communities of Bloomfield Hills, decided that offering housing closer to campus was a risk worth taking. And so the idea for The Union apartments was born.

Since September 2012 the large, four-story building has been under construction. The 145 apartment building is scheduled to open by Labor Day weekend just in time for the fall semester to start. Although the rent might seem steep, upwards of $775 a month for studio apartments, Winokur says it will be well worth it because all of the units come mostly furnished. For many students who will be living on their own for the very first time, this is a huge relief.

The university has welcomed the apartment building since construction and is even allocating space in the University Center for a leasing office. A shuttle will also be offered from the apartments to the main campus, and there are even talks of getting a crosswalk installed along the county road near campus so that students have a safer way of crossing the street.

Although Winokur says that the project looks to be behind schedule at this time, he is still hopeful that the project will be completed in time for students to move in before classes start. He says, weather permitting, they should be able to recover lost team when the spring starts.

Source: The Dearborn Press & Guide, “Construction well under way at The Union apartments near University of Michigan-Dearborn,” Joe Slezak, Mar. 11, 2013

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