The search for your first off-campus apartment is already confusing and stressful enough, but once you begin to navigate the seemingly endless amount of leasing companies, it becomes even harder.
If you find yourself wondering about the pros and cons with living in some of these off-campus locations, don’t fear. I analyzed the good and the bad of living in three widely-used off-campus apartments that you may be considering: The Highline at Nine, Commons on Kinnear and Iuka Park Commons.
For this comparison, I looked at two main factors: location and price. Other factors considered were parking, facilities, amenities, apartment security and management.
All companies mentioned in this article were contacted and either could not be reached or chose not to comment on the assessments given by tenants. Several confirmed or clarified prices cited by sources that could not be found on their websites.
The Highline at Nine
Sitting just a few blocks south of the Ohio Union on High Street resides The Highline at Nine, a high-end luxury apartment complex run by the Edwards Student Housing Management Co.
The Highline at Nine offers one- to four-bedroom apartments, with each room having a lock and its own bathroom.
Established in 2017, Highline offers fully furnished apartments, including a fully-equipped bedroom and bathroom, kitchen, an in-unit washer and dryer, as well as a private balcony for select units.
Highline also offers several amenities for its tenants, including a fitness center, pool and courtyard.
Johnae Spain, a third-year in Italian and international relations, lived at the Highline last school year in a two-bedroom apartment. She said she liked that the apartment was located on High Street, where she had easy access to restaurants, the Central Ohio Transport Authority bus line and campus.
“Highline is at a perfect location. Right in front of the building complex is a bus stop, so I could just hop on the bus and get off at the Union and I’m right there at my classes,” Spain said.
Spain also appreciates building security. Highline issues a key fob to its tenants, which are used to enter the building and each individual apartment.
“Since it was on High Street, [I thought] there would be some homeless people that would just be out front, chilling,” Spain said. “It’s just like living in the dorms. It’s set up to be safe, but it’s up to you to keep it that way.”
Though Highline includes a lot of pros, it all comes at a price, and a high one at that. Apartments start at $900 per bed and increase based on the number of rooms as well as whether there’s a balcony.
Spain said she paid around $1,000 when she lived in her two-bedroom apartment. She said the price, as well as her poor encounters with the management office, were among some of the downfalls of her living experience.
“There were several times where they would lose my rent money or misplace it, so we actually had to go to Edwards Management, because the people at the front desk weren’t handling it correctly,” Spain said.
Spain also mentioned the maintenance staff was slow to act on requests — if they even got to them at all.
“We moved in and there was a dent in the hardwood floor, and so we told them,” Spain said. “By the time I moved out a year later it still had not been fixed. I put in a service request and it just never happened.”
The Commons on Kinnear
The Commons on Kinnear is a complex consisting of two apartment buildings located west of campus on Kinnear Road. Like Highline, The Commons offers fully furnished units for its tenants as well as individual leasing, where rent is billed per person.
The Commons has units with one- to four-bedrooms and a varying number of bathrooms depending on the unit type.
Because the Commons is farther away from campus, bus lines for CABS and COTA are conveniently located near the apartments.
“The bus comes every five minutes and it takes you to the transit hub on campus, where you can get on other buses,” said Destiny West, a fourth-year in neuroscience.
In addition to her unit, West, who subleased an apartment over the summer, said she enjoyed the amenities the Commons had to offer, especially the computer lab.
“They have a free computer lab, and you can print as much as you want,” she said. “You can get on the computers as long as you’re a resident. All you have to do is bring your own paper.”
When it comes to price, West said she lived in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, which cost her $565. However, this price included all utilities except for the electric bill, which was split among her roommates.
“I think the price was pretty good for everything you get access to,” she said.
While the Commons has a lot to offer, one thing West didn’t like was the parking.
The Commons on Kinnear said parking costs $30 a month, but West said parking was available on a first-come, first-serve basis around the building.
“But Sunday nights it was really hard to find parking [around the building] and one time I was in my car for hours trying to find a parking spot,” West said.
She said although she felt the price for her unit wasn’t too bad, she might not recommend it as the prices do increase for someone living in a one- or two-bedroom apartment.
Iuka Park Commons
Iuka Park Commons is an apartment complex run by Inn-Town Homes and Apartments, which is also responsible for other major off-campus apartments, including Harrison Apartments and Ohio Staters Housing.
Iuka Park consists of one- and two-bedroom apartments, which are located east of campus beyond east of campus on E. Northwood Ave., east of North Fourth Street.
Due to the high number of students who live in Iuka Park, the environment is nice and welcoming, Kinah Moon, a fourth-year in health sciences, said.
“I really like the neighborhood. I haven’t had any crime issues, and nobody’s too loud, so there’s nothing in that sense,” Moon said.
Though Iuka Park is located a few streets away from campus, Moon said she enjoys the location’s proximity to the bus line. She also said the on-street parking is a plus because it comes at no additional cost.
One thing Moon said she didn’t enjoy was the laundry facility. She said doing laundry can be an inconvenience, especially when there are so many others using the same facility.
“There’s three complexes that [Inn-Town Homes] run over in that area, so all three of us have to use that washer and dryer,” she said. “So on Sundays if you want to wash, it’s almost impossible.”
Moon also has had problems with the management team. She said Inn-Town Homes at times fails to communicate with the teller’s office when tenants come with complaints.
“If you talk to somebody over in the teller’s office about Inn-Town Home issues, they won’t ever tell the Inn-Town Home people,” Moon said. “So you’ll have to tell the whole entire story over again or you get the wrong information, so there’s not a lot of communication.”
“They had me paying rent for a two-bedroom in the back for a month, and they were literally arguing with me to give back the extra money I had paid.”
Despite her trying times with the company itself, Moon still believes her living standards are worth it, especially for the $630 she pays for rent.
“The price [is not worth] how you get treated, but I think that for where you stay, and for how nice the apartment is, how big the mirrors are, how spacious it is, I think that it’s worth the price.”