As the student housing market continues to expand in Madison, a new development will be opening its doors to tenants next summer.
The James, named after Madison’s namesake James Madison, joins various other campus-area high-rise apartment complexes slated to pop up over Madison in coming years.
Second Hub dubbed ‘The James,’ construction to start this fallWhat came to be known colloquially as The Hub II has a new official name: The James. The second project from Chicago-based developer Read…
Along with The James, the city’s Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development has approved two other projects — one spanning West Johnson Street called The Johnson Bend and another on North Bedford Street named Uncommon.
But Ald. Zach Wood, District 8, said these types of high-end, luxury developments are typically out of budget for students who are simply looking for affordable housing.
With such a high density of housing in one area, prices naturally go up, making housing less affordable, Wood said.
But Senior Property Manager for The James, Dennis Ruffling, said since both young professionals and undergraduates live downtown, there is a need for more diverse housing options — which the James seeks to fill.
In traditional university markets, Ruffling said there is a trend of housing developments that focus solely on students. But in urban, more “downtown” markets, he said there are more multi-family developments.
“Madison is unique in the fact that the traditional student housing market and the traditional multi-family market has overlapped to the point of a merger,” Ruffling said. “Now there is a new renter that wants the best of both worlds regardless of if they are a student or a young professional — that’s where The James comes in.”
Calling it a “mix” of markets, Ruffling said both students and young professionals are able to take a break from the “college scene” or stay a little closer to the university community feel if they want to.
This intersection creates a market for “hybrid housing,” Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said. Out-of-state developers, like those behind The James, have moved in to take advantage of that present market, he added.
Located at 432 W. Gorham St., The James, in total, has 366 units and 850 bedrooms, Ruffling said.
The James East offers unfurnished, studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments while The James West offers furnished studio through five-bedroom apartment homes.
While the rooms in the West wing are individually leased, the East wing leases by the unit. In addition, the West wing offers double occupancy and roommate matching options.
All apartments come equipped with in-unit washer and dryer, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and Bluetooth speaker shower heads, Ruffling said.
The James East will be completed June 2017, while The James West will be finished August 2017.
Following suit with the luxury amenities other apartment complexes on campus offer, The James amenities include a rooftop deck with swimming pool, hot tub, outdoor games and a BBQ grill area. The second floor will include a fitness center with a steam room, yoga studio, meditation garden and virtual fitness trainer as well as a club room with business center, computers, coffee bar and outdoor terrace.
Despite the building being new, leasing has already commenced and it is off to a “great start,” Ruffling said. At the moment, The James anticipates 850 residents when officially completed in August 2017.
“We’ve seen a need to accommodate this new renter, and we feel that we are heading the race to catch them,” Ruffling said.