Mercer lofts set to be finished by summer

Mercer lofts set to be finished by summer
Photo courtesy of Lofts at Mercer
A model bedroom for the new Lofts at Mercer Village set to open on campus by the summer break.

The Lofts at Mercer Village, which were originally slated to be open for business by January, should be finished within roughly the next 30 days. Full occupancy is expected for the fall semester of 2011.

Jim Daws, president of Sierra Development, said the company had encountered normal construction delays, but that the Lofts should be ready within a month or so.

The lofts will house 117 students in 30 units consisting of three- and four-bedroom apartments and will be privately managed by Sierra Development.

“We’ve probably leased over half of them already and we are getting law and med students,” Daws said.

James Netherton, Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance, said that undergraduate seniors have first pick, followed by graduate and professional students and then juniors.

Daws said that added safety features like the use of Bear Cards to enter the residential area, as well as cameras at all entrances to the building, are important to the company.

Mercer Police will monitor the surveillance cameras.

Another feature that Sierra Development will implement is recycling within the residential space, Daws said.

Also, the floors of the lofts will be made of cork that meets leading standards.

Designer Tan, which will be housed in the retail space next to the new bookstore, should also be ready for business in around 30 days. Fountain of Juice is expected to be completed within 60 to 90 days.

Margaritas Mexican Grill, another of the retail stores, will have around 100 microbrews to offer, as well as around 30 additional beers on tap.

Students living in the Lofts will be allowed to drink within their residence, so long as they are of legal drinking age.

“The Lofts have the convenience of living on-campus without the hassles,” Daws said,

A second phase of the lofts has been considered, which will include more retail space. “We are considering it. No decisions have been made, but this has been so successful that the developer has been planning the second phase,” Netherton said.

The main entrance to the residential area will have study areas, a big-screen television, a Mac Pro work station and a print station where residents can use their Bear Cards to print. The building will also include wireless Internet.

Each unit will be fully furnished and will also include a washer and dryer as well as a private bathroom for each resident.

A total of 117 parking spaces will be reserved for Loft residents. These include spots in the parking lot beside the screen shop and Greek Village, as well as 19 spaces directly behind the Lofts.

Netherton said, “I think it’s going to be a really neat place.”

The Lofts are currently priced at $3,390 per semester for three-bedroom units and $3,360 per semester for four-bedroom units. Students can also lease the units during the summer semester for $1,250.
These prices are around $450 to $500 more per semester than a typical three- or four-bedroom Garden apartment.