The days when groups of six or seven students shared rundown houses with one bathroom are receding fast, judging by September’s opening of a leasing center for the latest luxury high-rise in the South University area. The thirteen-story “ArborBLU,” due to open next fall, will include a study cafe, a “state-of-the-art” fitness center, a club room, and a rooftop patio with stadium views. Also, in-house tanning–and priority delivery from Pizza House, atop which the edifice will rise.
ArborBLU is the culmination of twenty years of planning by Pizza House owner Dennis Tice. He started promoting the project last spring by–what else?–putting fliers on Pizza House delivery boxes.
Tice opened the restaurant in 1986 (at the time, it really was in a house) and says he quickly realized that “everybody looks at a flyer on a pizza box.” Today, Pizza House is the city’s largest restaurant, but it’s still “a rule that something goes out on every [pizza] that’s delivered … In the last five years, our biggest return is from our email blast or the social media stuff we do–but flyers still work.”
ArborBLU will have 123 one- and two-bedroom apartments; a one-bedroom is listed at just under $2,000 a month. Despite the price and the recent spate of such projects downtown and on campus, Tice is optimistic that they’ll fill quickly.
“I don’t think it’s ever going to get to a point where we’re saturated in the South U area, because there’s no sentiment for many, or any, more buildings [on this scale],” he says. “It keeps getting more difficult to get this type of project approved.” And priority delivery can’t hurt.