Apartment complexes see increased demand for singles, differing success filling up for fall

photo by: Nick Krug

A student walks across a vacant lot catty-corner from the HERE apartments along Mississippi Street on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Apartment complexes in Lawrence — specifically those popular with students — are experiencing differing levels of success filling up their units for fall. But leasing associates and managers at three complexes all agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in demand for one-bedrooms and higher traffic from students in greek organizations.

Shaylee Kane, a leasing associate with The Nest, 3345 Magnolia Circle, said The Nest was “definitely struggling more so than last year” to fill rooms. Earlier this week, Kane said The Nest was currently about 75% full but had only filled about 48% for the fall.

At Varsity House and The Hawker, two apartment complexes close to the University of Kansas’ football stadium, manager Paige Whited said things started slowly because of the pandemic but that they are now almost completely leased out — “which is surprising,” she added. Whited said they are usually leased out by May, however. Varsity House is at 1043 Indiana St., and The Hawker is at 1011 Missouri St.

Cayden Cribbs, a leasing manager at HERE Kansas, 1111 Indiana St., said earlier this week that HERE was about 87% full. Because of the pandemic, HERE was at first slightly concerned about filling up, Cribbs noted, but said the proximity to KU’s campus would help. Cribbs said more people had signed up for rooms than had last year at the same time.

All three representatives said they’d been seeing increased demand from students in greek organizations.

Cribbs mentioned “a lot of traffic” from greek houses in general, while Kane and Whited specifically mentioned sororities.

Kane said she’d seen a lot of sorority members seeking places at The Nest at the last minute, as well as people who had been planning to live in dorms. She just signed a group of four sorority students last week, she said.

Whited said it appeared that a lot of students involved in sororities have been opting out of living in the houses. She said she recently showed a group of sorority members a unit but that they said they wanted to wait to sign a lease until right before the start of school in case classes were to move online.

The ever-developing news surrounding the virus is making some students hesitate to sign leases, Kane agreed.

“We’ve had a lot of questions about if we will let people out of their lease if classes close,” she said, adding that that would not be an option, since The Nest also leases to nonstudents.

The three representatives also noted an increased desire for one-bedroom units.

Cribbs said at HERE Kansas “a few more people” had signed for one-bedrooms compared with last year, and Whited said she’d been getting “a lot” more calls about the availability of singles at Varsity House. Kane said she’s noticed that people were “definitely” looking into one or two-bedroom options at The Nest, but “due to financial situations some people don’t really care because it’s more expensive to live alone.”


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