MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When you think of college, you likely think of living on a shoestring budget — but that’s becoming less of a possibility in the Dinkytown neighborhood.

Luxury apartments are a growing trend near the University of Minnesota’s east bank campus.

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About 48,000 students claim the U of M as their own. That means lots of classes, lots of activities and lots of need for housing.

“Low vacancy rates, which means high demand,” said Edward G. Goetz, director of CURA Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, and faculty member at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “We’re seeing escalating rents all across the board.”

And as of late, off-campus housing is trending upward. Skyscrapers are filling Stadium Village and Dinkytown. Apartments are equipped with high-end finishes, skyline views and amenities that can only be described as luxurious.

U students Carson Almquist and Joe Ramon live in the Hub.

(credit: Hub Minneapolis)

“Places like this offer an experience that other colleges may not, like we have a hot tub on the top floor. It’s kind of a nice amenity,” Almquist said.

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The new building will also have a yoga studio and cabana lounges.

“The truth is, you go anywhere on campus, you’ll be looking at prices like we pay here,” Ramon said.

Like many students, he shares a room with a friend. Ramon pays $800 a month for his share.

To give you a gauge for price, we talked with one student who lives in a studio for $1,250 a month at the Hub. Another student lives in a two-bedroom apartment for about $2,600 a month.

We also found one-bedroom prices at Knoll for $1,380 a month, $1,524 a month at Stadium Flats, and $1,290 at the Marshall.

“When you build at the high-end of these markets, it tends to increase the rents on the low-end of the market in these surrounding areas,” Goetz said.

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He says it could also contribute to greater student debt. But for now, it appears it’s a price students are willing to pay.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield