New off-campus housing stirring up competition

4th Street Commons rendering

Nicole Montero/Staff Writer

A new off-campus housing building will be opening next fall, aiding those students who were waitlisted for 109 Tower.

4th Street Commons, the new housing option, located on 10899 SW 4 St., is just a few blocks away from the 109 Tower, deeper inside the city of Sweetwater.

“Students are familiar with 109 Tower, but they’re not really familiar with off-campus housing like the one we offer,” said Donte Harris, leasing and marketing specialist at 4th Street Commons. “A lot of people ended up waitlisted for that housing and that wound is still fresh.”

The building will have over 562 beds available — with apartments varying from one bedroom to four bedrooms. The residence comes with reserved parking for owners, as well as parking for guests, and has its own roommate-matching service for students who need it.

Although Harris could not confirm the price per unit to Student Media, a classified listed in the University website details that it would cost $1,200 or $1,300 per unit.

Harris urges students to apply for their apartments online and start leasing it early. Even though the off-campus housing is not exclusive for FIU students, Harris says that most of the targeted audience is the college community.

“It isn’t just for college students and we’re never going to turn down someone who’s qualified to live in one of our apartments,” said Harris. “But, at the same time, whose grandmother is really going to come in and say that she wants to live where the noise and ruckus is?”

The residence includes unlimited access to a fitness center, a swimming pool, a resident lounge and other amenities.

The office already has more than 300 people enlisted – among those are FIU students from all campuses, students from the University of Miami in Coral Gables and regular residents in the City of Sweetwater.

“Everything in our building correlates to being a student and that’s why they’re our target,” said Zach Helton, leasing manager at 4th Street Commons. “The study rooms we have, the fitness centers and a lot of other facilities that you won’t even have to leave the house to get.”

Some of these facilities include midnight breakfasts and massages during exams, as well as computer centers with iMacs, PCs and printers. It will also have outdoor grilling stations, Taco Tuesday nights and a private multi-use theatre.

“The truth is that we came to make a splash in this market and everything we do, including our customer service, is geared toward students to be successful,” said Helton. “That’s our goal.”

Harris agreed with Helton and said that the lack of housing at FIU makes it a different market than what he is used to.

“You guys don’t have off-campus housing,” he said. “You don’t have Greek housing and the on-campus housing — while people are happy with it — when a better opportunity comes along, they would jump on it.”

Elizabeth Larios, senior majoring in English, lives on campus and also believes that the housing at the University could be better.

“I wish the housing here had all the stuff that 4th Commons will have,” she said. “Honestly, the only reason I wouldn’t leave is because I’m on scholarship, but I think that FIU needs to step up its game when it comes to both on-campus and off-campus housing.”

The apartments will be close to campus—with only a five to ten minute walk from PG5. For Ian Gorgon, freshman biology major and FIU commuter, this is ideal.

“It takes me about 45 minutes to get to campus in the morning with all the traffic,” he said. “It would be great if I could find something I can afford that’s also close to campus. That way I can use my time better — basically to sleep in.”

4th Street Commons has already began the process of leasing apartments.

Although specific prices have not be listed, Harris said that the residence would be affordable to students.

“We understand our target market and we understand your budget,” said Harris. “How am I gonna charge you two thousand dollars for rent if I know your favorite meal of the week is Ramen Noodles?”

To apply, go to or stop by the leasing office located on 1411 SW 107 Ave.

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