In August 2016, the Biscayne Bay campus will welcome Bayview Student Living at FIU, a nine-story, state-of-the-art apartment complex strategically built with sweeping views of Biscayne Bay. The new site was an intentional divergence from its predecessor and hopes to provide student residents with a luxury apartment feel.
“Our students will enjoy the natural beauty of Biscayne Bay, ocean sunrises and views of the Miami skyline from their suites in Bayview Housing,” said James Wassernaar, director of facilities planning and operations in the Division of Student Affairs. Wassernaar has been instrumental in bringing the project to fruition and was one of many administrators who advocated for students who wanted direct water views.
“As the Bayview project team came together, it focused on three priorities,” he said. “To provide our students with affordable living accommodations on the water, redefine the residential life experience, and boost recruitment and retention for our academic programs.”
The $60 million project will bring 410 beds in 154 apartment units consisting of studios, two-bedroom/two-bathroom and four-bedroom/two-bathroom room styles to the Biscayne Bay Campus. The project was made possible through a public-private partnership with Servitas, a privately owned company focused exclusively on student housing development and property management.
According to Michael Short, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Servitas, the 200,000-square-foot building will include four classrooms, a sky lounge and multiple common spaces to provide a high quality living/learning community.
“Servitas partners with colleges and universities to help bring new student housing facilities to a campus using a finance structure that does not add additional debt to the balance sheet of the college,” said Short. “In this way, attractive new on-campus housing options are made available to students while allowing for the college to focus their own direct spending on new instructional classrooms or labs. It is a win/win proposition for the school.”
Short confirms that Servitas will manage the property once completed. To ensure that resident students live an authentic FIU on-campus experience, the company has worked closely with the department of Housing and Residential Life.
“Bayview will have a team of Resident Advisors with similar responsibilities to Resident Assistants,” Short said. “They will provide social and supplemental educational programming to the community as well as foster positive resident interaction to establish a sense of pride and respect between all students living in the facility.”
Students are thrilled to have housing back at BBC. Senior Allhan Mejia, president of Student Government Association at Biscayne Bay Campus, noted that he is looking forward to bringing the liveliness and excitement back that comes with having students on campus around the clock.
“Having students on campus full-time will allow us to get more students involved in campus life, and it will make the campus be more active,” said Mejia. “It’s convenient to live on campus, too, because you don’t have to stress about commuting, and it allows you to become more engaged since you can easily walk to all the campus events.”
Comparable to Miami’s luxury rental market, Bayview Student Living at FIU will feature a resort-style pool, 24-hour fitness center, business center with computers, and 24-hour emergency management and maintenance. Individual apartments include a built-in breakfast bar, central heat and A/C, dishwashers, energy-efficient appliances, granite countertops and faux hardwood floors. All apartments are fully furnished and include features such as USB chargers in desks and bedroom headboards. The sleek and modern furniture is a far cry from the old days of Christmas lights adorning dorm room ceilings. Each bed at Bayview includes a LED lightbox built-in to the headboard.
Apartment rental rates include all utility costs, satellite TV and Internet, and start at $1,008 per month per person for a 12-month lease in a 4-bedroom/2-bathroom unit.
For more information or to apply to live at Bayview, please visit BayviewFIU.com.