Upperclassmen will be able to live with their boyfriend or girlfriend, a friend from another D.C. school, their cat or their grandmother in University housing next year after GW finalized plans to purchase a luxury apartment building in Rosslyn, Va. this week.
The University signed a deal Wednesday with The Gallery, located two blocks from the Rosslyn Metro stop at 1800 Wilson Ave. The 381-unit apartment building is set for completion in June, but opened the first few floors to tenants earlier this year.
University officials said rising juniors and seniors with lottery numbers will have the first opportunity to choose apartments and will be able to pre-reserve rooms starting Monday.
“We wanted to provide a lifestyle option that is different from what is readily available within the system,” said Robert Chernak, senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services.
As long as one GW junior or senior lives in a room, Chernak said students will be permitted to live with anyone they wish including non-students and members of the opposite sex.
“This is the closest thing the University provides to independent living,” he said, adding GW hopes to eventually open the building to professors, staff members and graduate students.
The University will initially make 125 units available for juniors and seniors and provide shuttles to the building starting Monday, which will leave Fulbright Hall every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Students will have the opportunity to tour the rooms in the building, which has an outdoor putting green, heated pool, Jacuzzi and underground parking garage when completed.
Parking will be available for student residents of the building for $35 a month. Additional campus parking deals are available for those who purchase parking at The Gallery.
Chernak declined to release specific figures but said the building cost “tens of millions of dollars.” The University has been searching for housing to accommodate a swelling undergraduate population and cited a need for at least 500 beds for next year.
The Gallery falls within city zoning limitations that require the University to house 70 percent of undergraduates within campus boundaries or outside Foggy Bottom. While GW is contesting the restrictions under D.C. Human Rights Act, the University will be forced to house 70 percent of undergraduates solely within campus boundaries by 2006 if it loses its legal battle in D.C. court this summer.
The University will initially furnish the rooms, charging student residents an additional $150 a month in addition to rent. Students will also have to pay for utilities including water, electricity and Internet totaling about $200 a month. Students will have to sign a 12-month lease and will be able to pay monthly rent instead of the traditional lump sum payment most on-campus residents pay.
The University will also allow subletting during the summer and is offering students the opportunity to continue living in their room up to a year after graduation, Chernak said.
The University will initially allow students to choose between three room options (price range includes rent and utilities):
* one bedroom/one bathroom ranging from $1,750 to $2,250 a month
* two bedroom/one bathroom ranging from $2,300 to $2,700 a month
* two-bedroom/two bathroom ranging from $2,500 to $3,100 a month
Price differences are based on the amount of square footage, which floor the room is on and views from rooms. Some rooms provide views of Georgetown, the Potomac and the National Cathedral.
According to Hatchet calculations, if four students planned to live in an average two bedroom, two bathroom option, each student would owe $700 a month or about $8,400 for the year. The figure is slightly less than the $8,600 residents of a City Hall triple and slightly more than the $8,050 residents of a 1957 E St. quad currently shell out for two semesters.
Students in The Gallery will be able to live with as many as four roommates, allowing students to live alone or choose up to three others in any of the configurations.
The building is currently 18 percent full with another 7 percent of the rooms pre-leased by prospective tenants, building officials said last week.
Chernak said current non-GW residents will pay rent to the University, a similar arrangement as deals made when GW purchased the West End, Aston and other properties. He added that GW will probably rename the building because the builder has other facilities named The Gallery in Virginia.
Chernak emphasized the buildings’ close proximity to the Metro and said the University is looking at receiving a large sum of discounted Metro tickets. He said GW will also provide a shuttle during non-Metro hours – between 12 and 5:30 a.m on weekdays and 2 and 8 a.m. on weekends.