“You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a high-end hotel”

The Varsity, a student housing project set to open Fall 2011, has just launched its leasing website. They appear to have taken a page from Mazza GrandMarc’s cheesy marketing campaign, but then they took it to a whole new level.

They’re selling a lifestyle and experience rather than housing (complete with tanning beds, a game room, and fitness center):

College life is full of events you’ll remember forever. Many of the memories you will create with friends will happen where you live. At The Varsity, we believe your apartment is not just a place to keep your stuff and sleep in at night; it is an experience. We have worked hard to create a student housing community that is all about you… sophisticated yet down-to-earth, edgy yet classic, luxurious yet comfortable and private.

The Varsity at College Park Lobby

11 thoughts on ““You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a high-end hotel””

  1. My brother lived in a place like that down in SC. I give it 3 months before all that trendy furniture is bbeat up, the computers have been stolen or have so many viruses they can’t be used, the tanning beds are all broken, and the fitness center smells faintly of urine. Oh, and the pool table will have some very suspicious stains on it.

  2. Do the people who develop places like the Varsity and the View think that students won’t rent from them without all these ridiculous amenities? Judging from all the kids I know who still rent beat-up old houses around College Park, I seriously doubt it. Is it really that hard to build a basic apartment building sans fancy computer labs, lounges and fitness center (all things that you have, with much higher quality and in much better condition, on campus)? Maybe a room there wouldn’t cost $900 a month if they didn’t think everyone had to have a tanning bed.

  3. The County Planning Board requires these kind of amenities in large apartment buildings that they approve. No new “affordable” housing is permitted. Fortunately, we have a large supply of old housing that should become much more affordable in the future.

  4. Typical single family house rent per room: $400-600/month. Typical Rt. 1 high rise rent: $900-1500 PER BED.

    But don’t worry, the City Council is here to make sure students have “affordable housing.” They keep repeating the same horse manure about “We care about students having affordable housing” yet the only thing they’ve accomplished is the exact opposite.

    It’ll truly be interesting to see how many kickbacks Catlin, Afzali and Wojahn (i.e. The People’s Republic of College Park City Council) have taken from the Rt. 1 developers once the financial fraud investigation gains traction…

  5. Or so you hope.

    In the meantime, respond to the actual substantive question:

    How do you claim to support “affordable student housing” when in reality you’ve been supporting the EXACT OPPOSITE for years? Once again, the FACTS are typical single family house rent per room = $400-600/month, while typical Rt. 1 high rise (View, Mazza) rent = $900-1500 PER BED.

    We look forward to your response.

  6. The housing being built now will make the housing built 30-50 years ago more affordable. Why otherwise would investors who purchased student housing for $40,000 a bed or less ($200,000 house/5 students) be so concerned about housing that cost $100,000 a bed to build? (University View II – $60 million/550 beds). If apartment rents are too high (meaning highly profitable) another developer can come along and build a new 500-1000 student apartment complex.

    I would like the County to approve less expensive student housing projects, but luckily for the PGPOA folks, it is not going to happen, so that you can become the affordable student housing, you just will have to compete with each other for a change.

  7. Catlin,

    Either you have poor reading comprehension or you’re a complete moron. Either way, your post demonstrates your ignorance or refusal to see the obvious facts. You claim that you’ve performed a favor to the PGPOA folks by approving the more expensive student housing projects (i.e. the Rt. 1 high rises charging exorbitant rates), yet you continue to avoid the issue at hand: you and your yes-boy Afzali have implemented rent control on private landlords but did not implement rent control on the large developers. Once again, please explain how that HELPS students.

    Hint: it doesn’t.

  8. I am happy with my answer. The PGPOA itself said not to impose rent control on apartments because it would be counterproductive to the goals of the City to increase the supply of student housing. That turned out to be the last thing they said that made sense. If you want more information you should review my 10 hours of video deposition in the last landlord lawsuit.

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