A Decade of Dreams in One Year’s Time


Photo by Steven Villa

The view south from atop the adjacent parking facility.

Steven Villa, News Editor

Northeastern’s brand new student housing website reads: “Live like you mean it at NEIU Student Housing, the best in Chicago student living! At NEIU Student Housing you will have the privacy and lifestyle you deserve in a student community that is built specifically with you, the college student, in mind.”

Construction has come to NEIU. Three dusty grey-brick towers, big-rig trucks hauling materials to and fro down Bryn Mawr Avenue and the sound of industrial sanders have filled the lot just south of the Parking Facility; where NEIU’s first ever residence hall is being erected.

Northeastern’s first step into the world of student housing is called The Nest; a six-story, boomerang shaped, residence hall with a huge gold-colored façade, a line of trees, and steely blue windows. It will have the capacity to house 440 students, both new and returning, and is planned to be completed by August 2016. The exterior is to be finished before the winter months of this year; sealed so construction of the interior can remain in progress through Chicago’s most frigid months.

“Things are right on schedule,” said Matt Specht, Assistant Vice President for Student Involvement. “The elevator towers just went up first and then the other two stairwells that you can see when you drive by; and the first floor framing has gone in and they’re currently working on the second floor.”

Above is a floor plan of one of the apartments available, which consists of two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The residence hall, developed by American Campus Communities — according to their website “the nation’s largest developer, owner, and manager of high-quality student housing.” — will feature units with cable TV, an entertainment center, a garbage disposal, fully furnished apartments, a full-sized refrigerator, a leather-style sectional sofa, a coffee and end table and a full-sized bed.

“Everything is going to be set,” said Specht. “We’re still working on finishing up the marketing materials, and we went over the lease yesterday…finishing that up so that should all be wrapped by the time school starts. And then the leasing office, which will be in LWH 330, will actually be the housing office and students can go in there and actually sign up for housing for Fall ’16.”

The website for the residence hall — neiustudenthousing.com — touts: “Take advantage of our convenient location and unmatched amenities — everything you want and need in one place makes NEIU Student Housing the best in college living! NEIU Student Housing is located centrally on campus at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL. You will also enjoy our amenities including a fitness center, computer center with Mac computers, recreation lounge with billiards, foosball, air hockey, and much more.”

Apartments will be available for lease as early as August 24, the official opening date of the leasing office, almost a year before the residence hall opens to provide time to fill the place with students.

“We’re gonna recruit in high schools, we’re going to go to some recruitment fairs; there’s a whole marketing plan set up to both market to our current students and also potential students, so we’re looking for a mix of returning students—continuing students—and also new, first-time students to be our first occupants next fall.”

Speaking broadly on the topic of student housing, Specht said, “I think it’s going to be very positive…I think any time you have students living on campus it kind of increases the vibrancy of both the academic experience and the co-curricular experience with clubs and organizations, intramurals, and I expect all those areas to increase in participation and it’ll be a positive effect for all our students across the board.”