Marquis offers senior housing alternative

Jonathan Stow

While many students crowd into small apartments along the Main Line, a growing number are finding spacious living arrangements in the Marquis Luxury Apartments in King of Prussia. This is the first semester in which undergraduate students, primarily seniors, have been permitted to live in the complex.

The Marquis first approached the University during the previous academic year to suggest renting apartments to upperclassmen. Such an offer is quite rare, as rental offices are often wary of housing college students.

According to Dean of Students Paul Pugh, the University administration considered the proposal very deliberately, taking steps to ensure that the apartments met the University’s own housing conditions and that clients would be treated fairly. “We made sure that the apartments there offered nice accommodations, such as we would offer [on campus],” Pugh said. “It was also important that the students were offered a fair price to live in the apartments.”

While Pugh conceded apartment administrators have legitimate cause for apprehension in regard to student housing, he said the relationship between students and landlords is reciprocal. “The students have to act responsibly, but then, so does the Marquis in its treatment of our students,” he said. “We think very highly of our students and we want them to have a nice place to live.”

The apartment complex consists of five buildings, each with eight floors. The majority of the 80 or so University students living in the Marquis have been put in the same building, to the benefit of both the students themselves and their older neighbors.

Each building consists of either two-bedroom or three-bedroom apartments, each with two bathrooms, a spacious common room, a full kitchen and ample storage space. Hot water is included in the monthly rent fee, as is trash service. A fitness center and a pool are also provided for students. All other amenities, like cable telvision, Internet access and electricity are paid for by the tenant.

Most tenants discovered the Marquis as a direct result of the complex’s arrangement with the University, responding to mass e-mails about upcoming open houses and viewing listings for availability on the Office for Residence Life’s homepage.

“The arrangements here are great, the people in the building are great … it’s a really nice setup,” said Jonathan Keck, a senior accounting major. According to Keck, the process by which he and his roommate leased the apartment was quite simple, requiring only W2 forms and the signature of a student’s parent to ensure that monthly rent can be paid.

Keck did cite certain disadvantages as compared to the apartments on campus, such as the costs of aforementioned amenities and furniture, more expensive laundry, lack of parking spaces and especially the commute, which can take up to a half hour in rush hour traffic. “I guess those are all realities once you’re out of school, so it’s probably good that I’m experiencing them now, before I get out there,” Keck said.

For its part, the Marquis administration has also enjoyed the new relationship with the University community. “Students are treated the same as any other resident,” said Nicole Dumas, director of Resident Services. “We have the very same expectations of them that we have of all of our residents.”

Dumas did note, however, that there have been a few isolated incidents of parties, drinking, loud music at late hours and a few incidents of vandalism.

Dumas said University students are not the only contributors to problems in the apartments and the majority of them have been extremely well-behaved.

“We expect to have Villanova students living at the Marquis for quite some time, and we’ll be very happy to see that happen,” Dumas said. “Individual cases of misbehavior will be dealt with accordingly, and the acts of a few irresponsible tenants won’t ruin it for the other dozens of kids who do abide by our policies. I’m looking forward to dealing with more students as the year progresses.”