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Before Rudy Wallman, principal at Wallman Architects, undertook the task of designing the units at University Studios, an Oshawa condo community from Podium Developments and Building Capital located across from Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, he looked at the way post-secondary students live.

“Priorities change as students move through University,” Wallman discovered. “In the first few years social life is a high priority. During this time, it makes sense for students to live in accommodations that have shared living, dining, kitchen and bathroom spaces with the only private space provided by bedrooms,” he explains.

Wallman noticed this trend falls out of favour among students in later years — they instead opt for private study space. With all this in mind, he devised the development’s unique SmartStudios, which will cater to the student population in the burgeoning Ontario higher-learning hub.

The SmartStudios boast space-saving design features, such as the table-bed — as its name suggests, it transforms from a dining table or desk into a bed. “We created a linear block containing storage, study area and European kitchen on one side, which freed up the remainder of the suite for the bathroom, table area and living space,” says Wallman.

But the SmartStudios don’t only provide a flexible environment for students from frosh week to graduation; they also benefit investors. By making the most of suite space, tenants won’t feel cramped, and unit square footages were whittled down to range from 274 to 376 square feet, so investors aren’t footing the bill for space they aren’t using.

“It’s incredibly functional with zero wasted space and provides maximum value for the price, and of course, creates the completely private environment these students now require,” Wallman adds of the SmartStudios.

Conversely, University Studios offers a number of social amenities throughout. There’s a dedicated social hub on every floor, party room with access to an outdoor lounge, fitness centre, meeting rooms and a main social lounge.

Prices at University Studios start at $149,990, far below the average condo price in the GTA, which was $378,249 in December 2015, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board. And in addition to low prices, Building Capital and Podium Developments are providing buyers with a three-year rental assurance and furniture package.

Varsity Properties will be managing University Studios.

To find out more about University Studios, visit www.universitystudios.ca.

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