USM Considers Leasing Real Estate For Students In Portland

USM would not build or buy any buildings, but would lease existing rental real estate, then offer it to students as dorm-style units, according to Nancy Griffin, vice president for enrollment management, who is leading the effort.

Cummings stated the school might also enter into a private-public partnership that would permit a company to construct on the Portland campus. USM, which has actually had multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, can pursue a Portland dormitory just if it is cost-neutral, said Griffin.

One large-scale possibility is USM renting the 100-unit, 402-bed Bayside Village Student Apartments on Minimal Method, she stated.

Other possibilities include renting low-density buildings in Portland, South Portland or Westbrook in collaboration with other colleges, such as Southern Maine Neighborhood College, Maine College of Art or the University of New England. Low-density structures, she stated, could be attractive options for small groups of students with common interests, such as veterans or graduate nursing students.

Everything remains on the table for now: I will get as imaginative as I needhave to. Im really hoping today to get a bigger variety of beds for students, Griffin said.

USM has about 7,700 students and 1,100 beds in dormitory housing on its Gorham campus, about 10 miles from Portland, which are mostly occupied by undergraduate students.

Any Portland real estate, Griffin stated, would initially be provided to graduate students, law school students and undergrads who are adult learners or have a demonstrated need to remain in the Portland location for internships or other school-related work. Any new housing options may likewise be open to junior faculty.

Griffin said USM does not want to provide in-town housing that would take students from the Gorham dorms, which are presently at about 93 percent occupancy.

I think we have families saying they truly like Gorham for the very first year and sophomore year, however students say they would extremely much prefer to remain in Portland by senior year, Griffin stated.

USM Student Senate Chairman John Jackson stated a student referendum last fall discovered overwhelming student support for dorms in Portland. This is huge for students. A great deal of students want this, Jackson stated.

Griffin will provide her recommendations to Cummings by April.

Students have a May 1 due date to indicate their intent to enlist at USM for the fall.

Griffin stated having dorms in Portland would be an effective recruiting tool for USM, which has seen registration decline 17 percent in the previous 5 years.

The rental housing market has actually skyrocketed in Portland in currentin the last few years.

An analysis performed by the Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald as part of its six-part series, Welcome to Portland: No Job, found that the average renter household would require to invest 59 percent of its earnings to lease the average two-bedroom apartment on the market in Portland last fall.

Home listings in September and October exposed a typical market rent of $1,560 for a two-bedroom system, consisting of heat and energies.

At the same time, a rent payment thought about cost effective for the mean occupant household – 30 percent of the families month-to-month earnings – had to do with $800 a month.

The papers analysis also found that market leas have actually climbed 40 percent in the previous five years, after changing for inflation. Griffin stated she was attempting to discoverlooking for housing that USM might provide students at about $700 a month. For an added expense, students might also get a meal strategy.

USM utilized to have a 280-bed dorm off campus, at 645 Congress St.

The university acquired it in 1989 and offered it in 2011 for $2.2 million. At the time, USM administrators stated the move was making the home program more cost effective.

Some of the homeowners transferred to the Gorham dormitories or to the then-new 100-unit Bayside Town Student Apartments on Marginal Way. Griffin said she has had a number of conferences with authorities from the Atlanta-based business that owns Bayside Village, with an eye to renting the entire 402-bed facility for the fall.

That business, Peak School, focuses on student housing and handles 46,000 student real estate beds in 68 college markets, with both privately-owned and university-sponsored facilities. Company authorities did not return require remark.

Bayside now leases supplied four-bedroom systems at $599 a bed per month, with utilities consisted of.