Downtown Holiday Inn gets converted into student housing

The brown walls and floral carpeting that once lined the halls of the Holiday Inn at 111 Cooper St. have been replaced with white walls, modern artwork and an orange colour theme to entice student renters.

Campus Suites, who partnered with CA Student Living, bought the building in July with the intent of converting it into student housing that mirrors that of on-campus residences. So far the lobby and floor nine have been completed to show perspective renters what the rooms and views will look like.

Michael Yeagle, executive vice-president of CA Student Living, said the focus is to build a place to live where students can focus on school because everything else is taken care of. There will be a café on the main floor that will offer healthier food options than other fast food establishments and also the option to buy a food plan. Other amenities will include a fitness centre, social lounge (with foosball, pool tables, etc.), yoga studio and laundry.

“There certainly may be some non- students we don’t discriminate, but the reality is that the product typically doesn’t appeal to non-students,” said Yeagle.

The building was originally built to be an apartment building so the adaptation of the rooms wasn’t too extreme. There is the option of single, double and four-person rooms. They have already signed some leases and expect to fill all 432 beds by July with leases starting in September.

Rent will range from $700 to $1,500 per month while uOttawa residence costs anywhere from $700 to $950 per month, approximately, for eight-month leases. However, as of Sept. 2015 mandatory meal plans will be imposed on students in most on campus residences at uOttawa.

Jillian Hawley, 18, currently lives at Stanton residence at uOttawa and doesn’t pay for a meal plan. Hawley said it was important for her to be able to buy her own groceries and do her own cooking.

This is an area where Yeagle said they could take advantage because they will have a complete student environment but no mandatory meal plan.

“The most rewarding part is when we get letters from our residents like five years after they’ve lived with us

“The real life of when this whole thing happens is when 432 residents come to live here and we create a place where people are like ‘it makes my life so much easier’,” said Yeagle.