Local realtors educate at rental expo

In conjunction with Florida A&M University’s Office of Student Union and Activities, several apartment complexes in the Tallahassee area took part in the second annual Off-Campus Housing Expo Wednesday.

The expo, which took place on the Set, provided an opportunity for students to become more knowledgeable of the many living options available aside from residency in the dormitories.

Among the free pizza, candy and drinks, 17 apartment complexes were present for the expo including Frog Pond Apartments, Campus Lodge, The Exchange and Jefferson Commons. A number of the apartments offered discounts on the rent and other special in order to entice students to sign leases.

Lauren Ogle, the leasing agent for Jefferson Commons, located at 1325 W. Tharpe St., explained one of the apartment’s biggest goals in participating in the expo.

“We really want people to get familiar with the apartment and eventually get them to come sign leases,” said Ogle, who set up the Jefferson Commons table as early as 10:30 a.m.

“Some of the people who have come by have been pleased with what Jefferson Commons has to offer and signed leases on the spot.”

Sheemya Dies, a freshman broadcast journalism student from Chicago who currently lives on campus, was one student who found the expo to be informative.

“I found out important information like the size of the different apartments and how much the rent would be,” Dies said.

“I also found out about utility packages and roommate matching.”

Life off campus may seem like a dream come true for many freshmen who have had to settle for living on the Hill.

“At first (the dorm) was kind of exciting,” Dies said.

“But it became irritating with all the yelling and slamming of doors in the halls. Plus, I don’t have a personal bathroom.”

Dies, however, believes she may have struck gold after attending the expo.

“I like Jefferson Pointe the best,” Dies said. “They had the best bargain for a three-bedroom apartment, and their (representative) was more helpful than the rest.”

Although some students felt the expo was a success, there were some who felt differently.

“None of them impressed me,” said Kim Berly, a junior nursing student from Arlington, Texas. “I didn’t like the prices and the areas some of the apartments are located, but I’m still deciding.”

While several apartments cashed in on the expo for exposure, the Campus Pointe complex was not present. Campus Pointe, 3000 S. Adams St., has been the subject of controversy lately. The complex has yet to be completed even though many of its tenants are still signed to leases. Those whose apartments have not been finished have been forced to live in hotels at the expense of Campus Pointe.

“It hasn’t been good,” said Maurice Johnson, a junior broadcast journalism student from Detroit. “I had been in three hotels for the past couple of months before I finally moved in. It was a real inconvenience not having my own place.”

There will be a second housing expo in the spring semester for those who have not come to a final decision on where they will rest their heads each night.

Contact LeMont Calloway at thefamuansports@hotmail.com