Meredith Bratton was an out-of-state freshman at Temple when she faced the challenge of finding an apartment.
Like most students, she lived in a residence hall but would need to find somewhere to go for her sophomore year when Johnson, Hardwick, Peabody, White Hall and 1940 were not guaranteed as housing options to her as an upperclassman.
Looking for housing toward the end of freshman year has become a rite of passage for Temple students.
Bratton, a junior advertising major, turned to Kardon-Atlantic Terminal at 1801 N. 10th St.
“It’s a great space,” she said. “It’s lofty.”
Kardon-Atlantic, a former industrial building, has high ceilings and large living room windows. The loft-style apartments have bedroom walls that don’t reach the top of the ceiling, allowing sunlight to enter from living room windows.
The apartments’ open spaces come at a price.
Bratton shares a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with a friend and says they split the $1,260 to $1,270 rent every month at $630 each. There has been a small increase since the two signed their lease her freshman year.
A two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment at Kardon-Atlantic costs nearly $2,000 a month. With an average apartment size of approximately 1,500 square feet, the cost runs about $1.33 per square foot per month.
Costing a bit more expensive per square foot is Oxford Village, located along the 1600 block of North 15th Street. Oxford Village has a different layout compared to Kardon Atlantic – rather than a single apartment building, units are located in separate three-story row homes.
A management representative at Oxford Village said the average price for a four-bedroom apartment is $575 per person per month, and the average square footage is about 625 square feet.
At $2,300 a month for the whole apartment, the price per square foot is $3.68.
Features include refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, intercom entry systems, intrusion panic alarms, cable TV and high-speed Internet access.
The management office does not provide security guards. Tenants use keys to enter main entrances and apartments.
The Edge at Avenue North is another popular choice among sophomores. The Office of University Housing and Residential Life assigns rooms to freshmen in the Edge when residence halls are full.
The apartments are small in space but costly.
A two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with a kitchenette and living space shared among four people costs $1,310 or $655 each a month.
Management at the Edge said the average apartment in the complex is 200 square feet.
Junior business major Kevin Kless lived in the Edge his sophomore year but said he was dissatisfied and moved into an apartment on Broad Street with a friend.
“The Edge was mad small,” Kless said. “Everyone on my floor closed their doors and kept to themselves. It was a cement jail.”
Kless said he likes his current living situation better.
“We have the same stuff – a kitchen, living room, bathroom, two bedrooms, huge closets,” he said. “There’s Chinese food and Zavelle downstairs. The Secret Service knocks on your window when Barack gives speeches in the parking lot across the street.”
The Edge did have some benefits for Kless.
“It was good to live near campus, and there was free coffee and some days free snacks downstairs,” Kless said. “There were free flat-screen TVs in the bedrooms, too.”
Electricity, water, cable TV and Internet are included in the rent, as well as amenities like furniture and flat-panel TVs in each bedroom.
Security guards are stationed at the entrance of the Edge.
Residents must swipe their ID cards upon entering the building and sign guests in and out.
Kardon-Atlantic also has the same security procedures, which Bratton said she dislikes.
“It’s not necessary. I’ve never had a problem,” she said. “It’s really irritating to pick up guests.”
However, unlike the policy at residence halls, if Kardon tenants are 21, alcohol is permitted into the building. There are no resident assistants. Bratton guarantees there are parties happening in the building on any Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.
University Village is also a popular choice for those looking for off-campus housing.
University Village neighbors Kardon-Atlantic at 1701 N. 10th St.
For a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a kitchen area and living room, four people sharing bedrooms can expect to pay $540 per person per month. At $2,160 for the 682 square foot apartment, the cost is $3.16 per square foot.
If students do not want to share bedrooms, a four-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment will cost students $715 per person per month.
The larger space of 1,125 square feet has a lower cost per square foot of $2.54.
The price includes furniture, a full-sized refrigerator, cable TV and Internet.
University Village has community assistants, who are the off-campus equivalents of resident assistants.
Michelle Wallace, a senior BTMM major, is a CA at University Village.
“The apartments are fully furnished, and all beds in the bedrooms are full sized,” Wallace said. “This is a big thing since most places they are only twin.
“The courtesy offices are open 24 hours a day, and there are cameras around the perimeter of the building. There isn’t crime here like in a regular neighborhood.”
University Village employs AlliedBarton security personnel, and residents have to swipe ID cards to get into the building, as well as their apartments.
Wallace said University Village follows Pennsylvania law and allows 21-year-old renters to drink alcohol.
With a variety of apartments to choose from, students will most likely find a lease that best suits their needs.
Leases are usually allowed to be broken in the direst circumstances, but a new renter must be found to rent empty spots.
Some students are searching for vacancies through local real estate agencies rather than renting apartments in complexes near Main Campus.
TempleTown Realty owns several properties surrounding campus. The company has a variety of floor plans from studio apartments to large scale row homes.
TempleTown was unable to give an average size of its rentals, but management said the average price for a student to have his or her own room is between $525 and $575 per month.
Owen McDaniel, a junior history major, found his apartment on Craigslist but only after many attempts to secure a legitimate landlord.
“One guy e-mailed me back in broken English,” he said. “It was really weird.”
McDaniel eventually found a studio apartment on Franklin Street.
The studio includes a kitchen, one bathroom, a rooftop deck and a living room that doubles as a bedroom.
McDaniel pays $450 per month for rent, which includes gas and water bills. The apartment was unfurnished, but a refrigerator, stove and oven were supplied.
While living off-campus allows for more freedom, it has cons, too.
More often than not, off-campus apartments and houses are not within walking distance. McDaniel bikes to class.
Safety also can be an issue for areas not patrolled by Campus Police.
McDaniel said there aren’t any other Temple students living in his building, but it doesn’t bother him.
“I don’t mind being alone,” he said. “I can always have my friends come over.”
Bratton’s building houses many Temple students, but she says it isn’t a tight-knit community.
“Last year, I didn’t even know the people who lived next door,” she said. “There are awkward elevator rides all the time.”
Michelle Provencher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.