St. George and Associates property management and the architects at Shubin & Donaldson are currently constructing an apartment complex at 870 Camino Del Sur that will be the largest private development in Isla Vista’s recent history.
The new residence, named Campus 880, will be a high-end building with competitive pricing and energy-efficient and sustainable features, according to St. George and Associates owner, Edward St. George. The project aims to attract more serious students to the property by offering discounts for certain majors and GPAs.
St. George said he wants to cater the apartments particularly to students with majors in either engineering or economics.
“One of the issues I’ve seen over the years is that [engineers] need their quiet time,” St. George said. “But they also need an area where they can actually converse with each other.”
St. George and Associates has been in the housing business for 32 years and offers high-end housing to students in Isla Vista. St. George said because he prefers to rent to the more studious tenants, he is willing to offer a 20 percent rent reduction to economic and engineering majors with a GPA above a 3.0.
“This is pretty much catered to what [the studious tenants’] type of needs will be. It’s an off-campus facility that will house not just them, but it is specifically designed for them,” St. George said. “The way the internet is set up, there is a tremendous amount of volume coming in because there is time when they need it.”
St. George said his personal fascinations with technology and engineering, along with his admiration of the UCSB Engineering department, have led him to attempt to replicate high-tech construction techniques he learned overseas. According to St. George, he went as far as trying to construct a hot dog vending machine for the new apartment complex, despite the fact that he knew he would lose money in his efforts. Although the plan was unsuccessful, he said he hopes the UCSB engineers living in his new complex will help make it happen.
“If anyone can do it, it’s these guys,” St. George said.
The architects from Shubin & Donaldson and St. George have tried to make the building as community-oriented as possible in design. Robin Donaldson, a partner at Shubin & Donaldson, said the new apartment complex will provide abundant space for students to socialize and study.
“We tried to add some enhancement to it to make it more livable for the students. We also tried to make it a community in sense of a place so there is a big courtyard,” Donaldson said. “We are concerned about making a safe environment for students to hang out and be there with friends and build a sense of community.”
According to Donaldson, the central courtyard will be a main feature in the complex.
“We are going to be putting things in the courtyard so it’s a good place to gather, like [for] concerts.”
St. George said he plans to take protective measures to create the safest environment possible for students.
“This place is going to have casino security,” St. George said. “There are [crimes] going on right now in I.V. that [haven’t] happened before.”
Third-year biopsychology major Matt Stoker, who currently rents from St. George and Associates in Isla Vista, said the company provides some good services to students in Isla Vista.
“I like that we get our house cleaned every week; I like that the houses are very nice [and] it’s not very far from campus,” Stoker said. “I don’t like how St. George is slow on repairs — that’s pretty much it.”
Campus 880 is still in the process of construction but will be available for lease in the next school year. According to Donaldson, the building will be the first of its kind in Isla Vista.
“It’s just going to keep getting better and better,” Donaldson said. “It’s going to be a unique design; there’s going to be nothing like it in Isla Vista.”
A version of this article appeared on page 1 of November 7th, 2012’s print edition of the Nexus.
Photo courtesy of shubinanddonaldson.com