HYDE PARK — A year after selling three dormitories, the University of Chicago is finding it doesn’t have enough space for students and is renting apartments in a pricey new development.
The university is giving students the option of choosing Vue53, a new 267-unit building at 1330 E. 53rd St., as one of their options for student housing next fall.
The building touts "exceptional views" of Downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan, a state-of-the-art fitness center, game room with pool tables and a flat-screen TV, tanning and "multiple outdoor sun decks."
“The excellent space available in Vue53 represents an opportunity to provide additional housing options, and we seized it,” said Jeremy Manier, a spokesman for the university. “Students have expressed excitement about the 45 apartments the university has leased for students and staff at Vue53, and we expect their interest to exceed the limited space available there.”
The apartments will be offered at the same rate as other apartments in the university’s system.
Manier declined to outline the terms of the lease or whether the university would pay the added cost of renting the units below market-rate.
The apartments in Vue53 can rent for $1,400 a month for an unfurnished studio and up to $2,630 a month for a furnished two-bedroom apartment on the top floor. University students are typically charged $10,539 per year to rent a university-owned apartment, or $878 per month.
The university continues to push for more students to live on or near campus, selling 22 residential buildings, including three dorms, in Hyde Park in 2015 for more than $70.1 million and then opening a $148 million residence hall on campus in 2016.
The new dorm did add some of housing capacity the university now needs, but most students moved to the new dorm from four dorms that were closed in 2016.
“The college anticipates the need for another residence hall to accommodate the increasing interest in on-campus housing, and those plans are being developed,” Manier said.
The university is reportedly considering a site on the 6000 block of South Blackstone Avenue between the Chicago Theological Seminary and Experimental Station for another residence hall.
The undergraduate class at the university has slowly been growing too, up to 5,978 last year compared to 4,539 in 2004.
“While we believe the recent increases in yield will continue this year, that data will not be available until October, after students have enrolled,” Manier said.
The site reportedly being eyed for a new dorm is less than a block from the site where the university is pursuing a new hotel.