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Cooper Union Opens Dorm for Summer Rentals in East Village

By Patrick Hedlund | December 16, 2010 1:08pm
The Cooper Union dorm building, on Third Avenue and Stuyvesant Street in the East Village, is opening its doors for summer interns next year.
The Cooper Union dorm building, on Third Avenue and Stuyvesant Street in the East Village, is opening its doors for summer interns next year.
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DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

EAST VILLAGE — For rent: Doorman high-rise apartment in prime East Village location, close to restaurants and nightlife, bunk beds provided.

The Cooper Union will be opening the doors to its dormitory building on Third Avenue for interns next year, offering rooms to any graduate students in need of a place to stay during the summer.

The rental program, which was discontinued last summer due to building renovations, seeks to house about 60 graduate students from late May through early August inside the dorm, located at the corner of Stuyvesant Street, a university spokesperson said.

Interns should expect to pay East Village prices for their accommodations — which include shared bathrooms and kitchenettes — as rents for the dorm-style apartments run about $1,350 per month.

"It's cheap," the school's website boasts, adding that costs like air-conditioning are included in the rent. "For less than the cost of a week in Cape Cod or a weekend in Napa Valley, you can spend the summer in Manhattan, center of the universe."

Two students share each fully furnished apartment with separate bedrooms, and a limited number of three-bedroom units are also available, according to the college.

Universities like NYU have long rented out their multiple dorm buildings during the summer, offering a range of rooms sizes and styles renting for about $700 to $1,400 per month, according to the college.

In the past, the Cooper Union has rented rooms only to summer interns working at law firms, but this summer the college is encouraging graduate students in both law and business school to settle in the East Village.

The school started accepting summer rentals in the mid-2000s before suspending the stays last summer, the spokeswoman added, deciding in 2011 take a more inclusive approach to housing interns.

Still, prospective tenants must present a letter of employment on company letterhead before being admitted, and pay more than half their rent up front.

For his part, Steve Herrick, executive director of East Village affordable housing advocacy group the Cooper Square Committee, believes that the college should explore filling their dorm with students doing community-based internships rather than at law firms or large corporations.

"I think there's a way for the school to build some more goodwill in the community," which would help "mitigate" the Cooper Union's development footprint in the East Village, he said.

"I think [the interns] should maybe work in their own backyard," Herrick added, "and help build the capacity of local nonprofits in the neighborhood."