NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Housing is finally coming for graduate and professional students at Vanderbilt University.
“When we saw the first dream designs that were coming out, the first question everyone was asking is, ‘Okay, this looks beautiful, but how much is it going to cost,” graduate student Alex Korsunsky said.
After years of waiting, Korsunsky finally got the answer earlier this month.
“The cheapest apartment, which is under 300 square feet, is $1,377,” he said. “That’s not including utilities.”
The Broadview at Vanderbilt unveiled its floor plans for the fall of next year. The most expensive unit is a 422-square-foot one bed room, one bath apartment starting at just over $1,900.
“That price point for that laughably small of an apartment, even with relatively low expectations from Vanderbilt administration amazed me,” said Korsunsky. “It was to the point that it was comical.”
Korsunsky is part of the Vanderbilt Graduate Workers United union which has been vocal in sharing just how unaffordable these new apartments are for students.
“A typical grad student is probably making less than $3,000 a month, and in some cases significantly less, and trying to survive on half of that in Nashville would be pretty darn difficult to do,” said Korsunsky.
Korsunsky said students plan to protest during the apartment’s grand opening in hopes the university will hear their concerns and lower prices.
“Vanderbilt is very sensitive about its public image and we’re hoping this is an opportunity to get them to maybe reconsider,” he said. “They have plenty of resources and could make this affordable, and if they are looking bad in public, that’s one of the few things that can make them change their mind.”
The VGWU will also be partnering with Vanderbilt’s Organization of Black Graduate & Professional Students for Wednesday’s rally.
The rally will be at the corner of 20th Avenue and Broadway from noon to 3 p.m.
VGWU will also be hosting another rally focusing on higher wages on the Alumni Lawn Tuesday, Nov. 1.
News 2 reached out to the university who provided this statement:
One of the goals of providing graduate student housing adjacent to campus was to offer a lower cost alternative with popular amenities and easy access to campus. This project will help build interdisciplinary connections among these students and support the university’s strategic priorities, including its commitment to sustainability, diversity, and accessibility. It also enhances Vanderbilt’s ability to recruit the best students to our rapidly growing city.
Compared to similar apartment buildings near Vanderbilt’s campus, average rental rates across all unit types are approximately 18% below market this year. The units include a full kitchen, private bathrooms, and in-unit washer/dryer and the building amenities include a collaboration working space, study lounges, outdoor private terrace, and a fitness center. There is also a grocery store and coffee shop onsite for easy access. It is also important to note that the amenity fee includes internet, utilities, trash, and furnishings.
Vanderbilt partnered with Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions and Axium Infrastructure to develop, finance, operate, and maintain the building, which is owned by BBCS/Axium. As with market housing developments, the project must be financially self-sustaining. Through a partnership with Vanderbilt, BBCS/Axium will be able to keep rates below market value for comparable housing.
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You can learn more about the project here.