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Like most universities, Liberty has its fair share of students every semester who are looking to leave their on-campus dorm life to move off campus and experience the real world.
Until recently, students moving off campus in Lynchburg were largely forced to choose between local communities like Cornerstone, Wyndhurst, the Vistas and Park Place.
That changed in November, when a community of what is known as “Purpose-Built Student Housing” called The Vue @ College Square began leasing.
“The Vue is the only community in Lynchburg specifically tailored to the modern student,” Missy Milner, the vice president of The Vue, said. “To qualify, a prospective resident must provide proof of enrollment in addition to other qualifying criteria. We also provide individual liability leases so that students are only responsible for their suite and the common area.”
The PBSH community was carefully planned, designed and built just off Wards Ferry Road, behind the Wal-Mart that lies across the street from the university’s campus.
“To the best of our knowledge, we are the first Purpose-Built Student Housing in Lynchburg,” Brandy Daly, the property manager for The Vue, said.
Chris Langley, who owns Langley Apartments, designed the project. Langley Apartments is the company responsible for Rivermont Park, Boonsboro Village and Park Place, among other communities in the Lynchburg area.
Langley has a background in leasing thousands of conventional apartments to college students. He began researching off-campus student housing in other college towns and decided to replicate that model for Liberty University students. Daly also said that Langley wanted to provide students with the opportunity to live in a community of other students while also having the opportunity to experience life off campus.
Hilary Sedgeman, a junior at Liberty University, signed a 6-month lease at the end of December and already plans to renew her lease.
“I like being off campus because it’s quieter and there’s more personal space,” Sedgeman said. “It takes a little adjustment, but so far it has turned out really well. I have been very happy so far.”
“We are filling up quickly,” Daly said. “We’re doing leasing for people who want to move in now through the end of this month, and we will continue leasing for people who want to move in this May and August.”
The floor plans for the townhomes in The Vue are the same.
“We are able to offer a fully-furnished suite with a full-sized bed, a desk, a dresser and a walk-in closet for each student,” Millner said. “Each townhome spans a spacious 1,700-square feet on three floors. One of the best features of the Vue communities is they are ready for students to move in.”
The Vue rents to groups of three that share a common area that includes a kitchen, living room, dining area and bathroom, as well as a washer and dryer. According to Millner, the common area comes furnished with barstools, a dining table, a sofa, chairs, a coffee table, and a wall-mounted 50-inch flat-screen television.
One fee, paid in monthly installments, covers the rent for the fully-furnished townhome, as well as cable, Internet, electricity allowance, water, sewage and trash pickup.
“There is a $120 allowance on the electricity,” Millner said. “If you go over the cap, the remaining cost has to be split between the roommates.”
According to Daly, off-campus housing for students in the Lynchburg area is a very competitive market.
“The rent for a suite just went up to $525 a month from $475,” Daly said. “Because of Lynchburg law, we are only able to fill three of the rooms, unless two or more of the individuals are related, but that doesn’t affect cost.”
According to Millner, they expect to finish the lease for The Vue @ College Square sometime in February, but they have more coming.
“We will also have The Vue @ Cornerstone coming soon, and we will begin pre-leasing for those apartments in February for $475,” Millner said.
Students interested in looking into The Vue @ College Square can visit their website at thevueva.com or go to their leasing office, located in the community off Wards Ferry Road.