Sat02222020

Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm

News

University Ends Lease at Pier Village

monmouth universityPVThe University has decided to terminate its 15-year off-campus housing partnership with Pier Village, notifying students of the decision two weeks prior to the housing deposits due date of Feb. 14.

James Pillar, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Student Life, emailed students to inform them of the decision on Jan. 28. According to the email, “Although many students have enjoyed living at the complex, the demand for these units has decreased over time and, as a result, we are no longer going to lease apartments after the spring 2020 term.”

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, added that a lack of student interest as a key component of the decision to cut ties. “The number of apartments [the University] has there today and the number of students that live there today is significantly less than what it was.”

Nagy explained that student demand for Pier Village housing has gone down to the point where the equivalent of three apartments that, if she combined and consolidated them, would sit vacant. “In a continuing effort to make sure that we are as cost-conscious as possible… [the University] did not feel that we could continue to have a relationship with Pier Village.”

As the University approached the end of their contract with Pier Village, apartment rates were changing, and the inflation would inevitably be passed upon to the students, Nagy warned.

“We’re trying to do our best to contain costs, I can’t continue to have empty units, which are going to go up, that I have to pass onto students," said Nagy.

The University is trying to take into account the high cost of attending college, by passing on pricing increases in a way that makes fiscal sense.

“Financially, the best thing for us to do was to cease our relationship,” Nagy said.

Megan Jones, MS.ED., Associate Director of Residential Life, said, “The number of units [the University] leases at Pier Village has decreased.”

Fifteen years ago, there was more demand for students to live at Pier Village and even with decreasing  the number of apartments leased, there were open units this year, Jones explained.

“We proceeded through the fall semester and notified Pier Village just before the holidays, Nagy said. “Immediately upon students coming back, we notified [them] that we’re not going to have Pier Village.”

Several students housed in Pier Village were upset by the timing of the announcement. In an email to the Office of Residential Life, Christopher Chen, a junior computer science student, said, “This untimely news has caused many of the juniors at Pier Village to panic and caused much disruption, especially with less than a month of housing deposits being due.”

“Many of these students, including myself, are irritated with the little time that Residential Life has given us to look for alternative housing options, and it feels as though the Bluffs or on-campus housing options are being pushed upon us as the only option of finding housing next year,” he continued.

“Many [students] are in the unknown if Bluffs can house all the students from Pier. It seems insulting that there was no prior concrete information that the Pier Village apartments were to be discontinued, just slight rumors from the RAs,” Chen concluded.

Nagy responded to the allegations of Monmouth encouraging on-campus or affiliated housing options and explained that because of the decision to not be at Pier, students might rather try to find apartments themselves, but that’s not what the University is trying to do. “The advantage to living at the Bluffs is that it’s a one-bedroom apartment versus a two, and you walk outside and are at the boardwalk and the beach, [without] walking across the street. It’s far less congested than the experience at Pier Village,” Nagy said.

Brittany Macaluso, a junior social work student, said, “There are a few athletes currently living in Pier and, although I haven’t spoken to them, I have lived with athletes and am friends with athletes, and a majority of their schooling is paid for often including housing through their scholarships. The rush to decide if they’ll return to campus,16 days before deposits are due, after Pier provided the opportunity to dissociate from campus, is difficult.”

“I feel like Pier allowed those with scholarship packages that included housing to experience what it is like to live a more adult lifestyle while being connected to the University,” Macaluso continued. 

Chen, added, “That Bluffs would be returning to a dorm-like setting after living independently.”

Still, Nagy compared cost savings for students at the Bluffs. “If you live at Pier Village, you also have to pay an additional parking fee. If you live at the Bluffs, you’re automatically going to save $350 because you’re not getting a parking pass, you’re getting a commuter parking decal,” she said.

Jones added that “[She] can understand students’ disappointment in not continuing our lease at Pier Village. But [Monmouth] is a very lucky institution that it is still able to offer another apartment complex owned by the University that is literally steps from the beach.”

“I believe that teh University Bluffs is a fantastic lae for our students and hope those who live at Pier Village will consider living at the Bluffs,” Jones said.

For student’s living in Pier that are concerned about Bluffs not being guaranteed, Nagy said, “I’m not worried about being able to accommodate the students who are in Pier Village, into the Bluffs.

“I can make that happen even before the housing selection process starts. I’m certainly willing to do that, because we have the capacity at the Bluffs and so I would rather be be able to make that commitment to those students today, to say ‘hey, you tell me you want to live at the Bluffs for the 2020-21 academic year, I’ll put you in there today,’” Nagy said.

For students interested in seeing a unit at Unversity Bluffs, the University will be holding an open house on Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students are encouraged to drop by to ask questions and view the apartments.

Megan Jones can be contacted with additional questions at mjones@monmouth.edu.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu