40 West fortifies new apartments in YMCA

Kirstin Cook / Editor-in-Chief, Phat Nguyen / News Editor

Students looking to live off-campus, but not too off-campus, will now have the option of living in new apartments being constructed on the upper floors of the Wilkes-Barre YMCA.

40 West is a new 21 apartment unit that is being built and will be completed in time for the fall 2012 leasing season. The unit is a renovation of the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the YMCA, and will contain a variety of rooming options from single studios to quad rooms.

Tim Gigliotti, 40 West property manager, said these apartments will give Wilkes students another option besides the usual housing choices.

“There is no new product in the Wilkes housing department,” Gigliotti said.

For those who have been to the old YMCA apartments, the new unit will have no resemblance. Gigliotti explained that they completely gutted the fourth floor to create a more logical floor plan.

“The problem with the units before was it was very long and narrow,” Gigliotti said. “You were restricted by that center hall by moving the hallway to the inside hall. We provide with more flowing environment. It’s more compact and more logically laid out now.”

Jacki Lukas, 40 West community coordinator and Wilkes alumnus, said the pricing would be comparable to the costs for on-campus housing. However, she said that’s a lot to offer with new products and opportunities that aren’t included in dorm living.

“Brand new cabinetry, brand new stoves, everything you would need to make it your home,” Lukas said. “You could still walk down the hall and knock on your neighbors door and say, ‘hey, what are you doing tonight?’ then you could come down to me and say ‘what’s going on?’

In addition to that, Lukas plans to hold community events for the 40 West residents such as move in parties and get togethers to focus on their unique community and explore things beyond Wilkes.

A year lease at 40 West will include all utilities, Wi-Fi and access to a community room with television and a billiards table. The rooms will be fully furnished with furniture and appliances, including air conditioners and dishwashers.
All bedrooms within the apartments will be single. Plus, the leases are divided by bedroom, which Gigliotti said might help with payment issues.

“All leases are by bedroom not by apartment so if your roommate doesn’t pay it’s his fault and you won’t have to cover for him,” Gigliotti said. “That can sometimes be a problem for off-campus housing.”

The reconstructed housing also boasts a separate swipe-in entrance for residents, a resident’s only elevator plus a full YMCA membership.

Lukas stressed the importance of safety and pointing out required card access for the elevator and entrance and the newly installed sprinkler systems along with being on the higher floors of the YMCA.

“The dorms are on the fourth floor and up, so no one will be crawling into your window,” Lukas said. “Safety is a big deal, and we have outfitted the building to maximize it.”

“It’s something-for-everybody mentality. We have studios, one bedroom, two bedrooms, three bedrooms and four bedroom units. The unique and historical structure of the YMCA allows us to have a nice variety of product.”

“We’re offering these two story units in the racquetball courts,” Lukas said. “You don’t really see that ever.”

The structure is best thought of by an inverted town house, where there are two bedrooms on lower levels and bathrooms up the stairs to kitchen with two additional bedrooms. These rooms have sky lights.

40 West plans on hosting a leasing kickoff on Feb. 22 and 23 at 4:40 p.m. with a 40 themed party with food, drinks and a DJ. To go 40 theme, a special offer is being made to students who sign up for leasing before March 15.

By registering your name, email and address at 40westapartments.com, $40 off will be taken off your first month’s rent.

Interested students should contact [email protected] or check out 40westapartments.com for more information.