Edge prepares for fall without Temple contract

Management has taken steps to operate independently of the university.

After Temple announced its contract with the Edge will cease after this semester, the housing facility has come under new management that will put changes in place for Fall 2013 as it transitions into an independent apartment complex.

Director of Leasing Ryan Purnell said the facility will move away from a dorm-style living environment and focus more on an apartment atmosphere.

“We have totally new management,” Purnell said. “Everyone has just come on in the past few months and are planning a lot of improvements.”

Anticipating the change this fall, Purnell said management has already taken steps to improve the Edge’s current services. Residents had expressed concerns about faulty wireless Internet connections, leading the facility to put in new processors and connection points to increase the speed. A new laundry company was also hired and replaced the Edge’s old washing and drying machines.

This year, the Edge will expand its retail outlets on the first floor, Purnell said, adding a frozen yogurt restaurant next to Jimmy John’s.

Purnell said that after Temple’s contract with the Edge expires this year, the facility will change some of its polices to provide a more apartment-style living space to residents.

“We will still have 24-hour security, but we’re changing our guest policy,” Purnell said. “It won’t be the same as the university.”

Purnell said staff will focus on providing more private rooms and the building has reduced its bed count for the upcoming semester. A studio apartment is among the new room types that will be single units rather than shared ones.

Now that its contract with the university will not be renewed, Purnell said the Edge has planned to reduce rates for most rooms by about $100.

During Temple’s contract with the housing facility, students could rent rooms at the Edge through the MyHousing website. Starting this year, students will have to lease rooms through the Edge’s own website, Edgeavenorth.com. Purnell said the website allows renters to select rooms and make monthly payments.

“Our relationship with Temple is still very strong,” Purnell said. “We are offering a financial aid payment plan that allows students to use their financial aid plan from Temple to live here.”

Purnell said the focus is still on attracting students wanting to live near Main Campus, but the Edge will be open to everyone. Currently, students from Drexel University and the University of the Arts are also leasing rooms at the facility, he said.

“Our location is better for students because we offer a 10-month lease term, while other places only offer a 12-month term,” Purnell said. “Students don’t have to rent for the whole year, because our term coincides with Temple’s schedule.”

No services will be taken away as a result of the contract ceasing, Purnell said, and  will continue to keep a working relationship with the university.

Purnell said the Edge will continue to do business for years to come, despite Temple’s decision not to renew its contract.

“Right now, all the residence halls are full,” Purnell said. “Housing is always going to be an issue.”

Joe Gilbride can be reached at joseph.gilbride@temple.edu. 

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