A Tale of Two Buildings
Landmark provides parking for $180 per month in its underground lot, while U Towers offers a municipal parking pass for $160 per month for spaces allotted by the city at the nearby South Forest garage. Whereas U Towers has a communal laundry room, Landmark has full-size stackable washer/dryers in its apartments. Landmark also has what it calls a "Research Center," with Mac computers and printers.
U Towers had a computer room about fifteen years ago, but, says Isley, "today, you don't need a computer room." Nooks and living space in the forthcoming lobby redo will give tenants a place to go outside their apartments. And Isley feels competition from the newer buildings has helped, not hampered, U Towers' rental pace. "In my opinion, it's done nothing but improve our rentals," she says. "We've been able to rent up much quicker." Like Landmark, U Towers was sold out by the time the school year started in September.
Isley says she doesn't anticipate much of a rent hike even after the upcoming renovations are complete. Costs will "go up slightly more than the normal 3 percent, but not astronomically," she says. "We'll still be way under market rate compared to the new product." As for her competition, she predicts, prices will continue to spike. "In three or four years' time, the taxes are going to go up in those places, and they have a board that they have to talk to and meet their expectations ... Everybody's got to get paid over there." Indeed, the prices Landmark lists online for the 2014 school year are about 10 percent higher than its mid-2013 rates.