Annex_Student_Living_Richmond_PalItem

Photo credit: Louise Ronald | Palladium-Item

The first residents have moved into The Annex of Richmond, a student housing facility near the campus of Indiana University East, Ivy Tech Community College and Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

IU East freshmen Abbey Ketchem of Indianapolis and Tori Snyder of Wabash, Ind., are among the eight occupants of the 66-apartment complex. They came in July to practice with the university volleyball team.

“I think it’s really nice here,” said Ketchem. She’s looking forward to August, when more students will begin to arrive.

Only students can lease the two- and four-bedroom furnished apartments with living rooms and full kitchens. At this point, those who have signed up to rent are IU East and Ivy Tech students, and a graduate student at Earlham College is considering moving in. In March, representatives of Reid Hospital said they were considering housing some third- and fourth-year nursing students there.

Property manager Allison Evrard came to The Annex from a similar student housing community in Oxford, Ohio. She said it’s something between a dormitory and an apartment complex.

There is no resident assistant watching over the apartments, Evrard said, giving the students “that freedom to be on their own and be young adults.”

But there will be regular events such as Taco Tuesday and Waffle Wednesday “to get people to feel like it’s more of a community,” she said.

The Annex’s clubhouse has a study room, computer center, communal kitchen, workout room and flat-screen TV. There also is a laundry room complete with an app that allows residents to check to see if machines are free before lugging their dirty wash from their rooms and lets them know when their clothes are clean. The washers and dryers even take credit cards.

The Annex still looks a little rough from the outside, but it won’t be for long. Landscaping, a paved pathway to campus and courts for volleyball and cornhole should be ready by the time classes start in late August.

Evrard is enthusiastic about the concept of a student housing community. She herself commuted to Ball State University from Elwood, Ind., for two years before moving into a traditional apartment in Muncie.

“I wish they’d had someplace this nice when I was a student,” she said.

Take a look

The public is invited to visit The Annex of Richmond, view a model apartment and see the clubhouse. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It is housed in the only single-story building in the complex at 3001 W. Cart Road, near the Meijer parking lot.

The facility was developed by Annex Student Living, an Indianapolis division of Mecca Companies of South Bend. Construction on the $8.5 million project began in 2012 but underwent delays because of financing. Rents range from $420 to $495 per bedroom per month.

Louise Ronald, lronald@richmond.gannett.com