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Studio apartments scheduled to open near SU campus in August

Construction is underway on Skyler Commons, a new 80-unit apartment building for students, faculty and staff located at the corner of Harrison Street and University Avenue.

Under hotelier Norm Swanson’s planning, Skyler Commons will replace what is now a parking lot with a surplus of one-bedroom units. The four-story building is scheduled to open on Aug. 15, just before the start of the 2015–16 school year, said Darya Rotblat, director of tenant operations at Skyler Commons.

Skyler Commons will be dressed in cement panels that will resemble New York City flats with attractive high ceilings and tall windows. Each studio, single-occupancy apartment will be fully furnished with a queen-sized bed, television, love seat, desk chair, fully-equipped kitchen and Wi-Fi Internet service. The units feature ample storage space with custom cabinetry that maximizes the 400-square-foot space, Rotblat said.

“With more off-campus housing available to students, they will have the opportunity to shop around and be more educated consumers when choosing where to live,” Rotblat said.

The property will also host 55 parking spaces, 30 of which will be in a basement garage for the students, Rotblat said.

“From a student perspective, I think it’s a great idea to add the new complex because it gives students the chance to live outside of the dorms yet still near campus,” said Emily Magnifico, a freshman anthropology and magazine dual major. “The location is safe, which is important for students who want a secure place to live and more independence at college.”

Skyler Commons will be under the ownership of Woodbine Group, owner and operator of Copper Beech Commons, another student apartment complex on Syracuse University’s campus. The new building reportedly cost about $5.7 million to build, according to a Syracuse.com article.

Tenants at Skyler Commons will be able to utilize all amenities at Copper Beech Commons, as well as the shuttle bus to campus, Target and Wegmans, Rotblat said.

The apartment building is open to students, faculty and staff at Syracuse University, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Rotblat said.

The apartments will rent for $1,350 per month, on 11-and-a-half-month leases including all utilities, cable television and Wi-Fi Internet service. As construction has begun, applications are now available for leases effective Aug. 1, Rotblat said.

“It’s nice that everything is included in the price especially for young students who are managing their budget,” Magnifico said. “It gives you the luxury of dorm life, but with more freedom and adulthood.”

Skyler Commons will be the only all-inclusive luxury complex comprised solely of studio apartments on campus hill, Rotblat said.

“I am very excited to see what I will learn from this project,” Rotblat said. “I’m happy that we’re able to build a property that will give students the ability to live alone in a clean, safe and all-inclusive environment.”

Swanson, the hotelier planning the apartments, has a successful history of organizing the construction of prominent buildings in Syracuse. In 2011, Swanson opened the Hotel Skyler in a vintage 1921 building that was then Temple Adath Yeshurun, and later home of Salt City Theatre. Today, it is still the only Syracuse hotel that meets the platinum standards of the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, according to a Syracuse.com article.

Swanson is also the owner of Genesee Grande and Parkview hotels on East Genesee Street, both in close proximity to Hotel Skyler, according to a Syracuse.com article.

In a Feb. 11 article, “Apartments to open near campus in August,” the number of studio apartment units being built was misstated. Eighty apartments are being built. The Daily Orange regrets this error.

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