Students gathered in Downtown Binghamton last night to celebrate the grand opening of the new student-only living community, Twin River Commons.
Twin River Commons, located on 45 Washington St., is a multi-million dollar housing project that began construction in March of last year and will open for residents in August. The owners, Newman Development Group, is a Vestal-based firm that previously developed the University Plaza housing project.
The grand opening was from 7 to 10 p.m. and hosted by TRC’s management team, Campus Apartments. It featured free food, giveaways and raffles, and allowed students a tour of the new community.
“I think it’s really nice compared to other places and compared to University Plaza,” said Charlie Warkenthien, a freshman majoring in accounting, who was in attendance. “It’s brand new and spacious and has a lot of great amenities.”
The four-floor TRC community is made up of 371 beds and 127 apartments. Each apartment is fully furnished and includes wireless Internet, a washer and dryer, closets with automatic light sensors, and an audio and visual intercom system that allows residents to see visitors before allowing them onto the property. The community is gated and has more than 100 security cameras.
Jessica Nimbley, leasing manager for TRC, said the new complex offers a variety of other perks.
“Twin River Commons also includes community amenities, which consist of a state-of-the-art fitness center, multimedia room, printing and computer labs, free tanning salon, a gaming center, a café, trash and recycling chutes and study lounges with Smart Boards on every floor,” Nimbley said.
There are seven different room styles offered at TRC, including private one-bedroom and one-bathroom apartments, as well as apartments that sleep two, three or four people. In all of the styles, each resident has a private bedroom and bathroom.
The least expensive rooms at TRC are the four-person suites, which range from $740 to $850 per person per month, according to TRC’s website, www.twinrivercommons.com. The most expensive are the one-bedroom suites, which cost between $1,200 and $1,215 per month.
Danielle Bittleman, a junior majoring in English, is moving into a four-bedroom suite at TRC in the fall.
“I wanted to live in Twin River Commons because of the high quality of their apartments matched with the location close to Downtown,” Bittleman said. “I am so excited to move in for fall semester.”
Bittleman said she thinks the complex’s amenities are well worth the price of rent.
“I think the rent is reasonable since there are so many great features offered, from parking, laundry on site and high safety measures for students,” Bittleman said.
For other students, however, TRC’s rent is a price they are not willing to pay.
“The rent at Twin Rivers is too expensive,” said Michelle Edwards, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law. “I have been looking into apartments for next year, and I have found much more affordable places to live in Binghamton than that. As a student, if you’re willing to pay those kind of prices you may as well just stay on campus, which is more convenient.”
Jason Cohen, regional property manager for TRC, said the cost of rent is appropriate for the community.
“The students at Binghamton haven’t seen anything like this before,” Cohen said. “Our facilities are going to be second to none. We specialize in all-inclusive living. The only thing you have to leave the property for is to go to classes.”
According to Nimbley, students can still rent apartments for fall 2012. The one-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments are no longer available, but there are two and four-bedrooms available for renting. The lease is a 12-month agreement signed after students complete an application process through TRC’s website.
“The application process is very simple,” Nimbley said. “However, we do require all applicants to be a student, and we require our residents to have guarantors. We do extensive criminal and credit checks on all applications to ensure a quality environment for the best college experience.”
Ethan Taubman, a sophomore majoring in financial economics, signed a lease to live in a four-person suite at TRC in the fall.
“It looks great,” Taubman said at the grand opening after viewing the apartments. “It’s exactly what I expected. It’s totally worth $750 a month of my parents’ money.”