Jonathon Liedtke – OurWindsor.Ca – Wednesday, August 14, 2013
While many expressed concern upon finding out that the Radisson Hotel was transforming into a student residence, those who live in the downtown core may be relieved to learn that the building aims to cater to professional students.
Student residences have the reputation of being all about parties and promiscuous activities, but The Riverside Inn is challenging that notion and demonstrating to the community that student life can be both fun and professional.
T.J. Sutton and Tosin Bello are both leasing managers at the establishment and they took some time out of their day to speak with ourWindsor.
“The old Radisson has been re-purposed into luxury student suites,” explained Bello.” Club Riverside is a luxury student accommodation [and] we have a number of services for students including a meal deal across the city [varying at] 15-50% off [so] students have a lot of variety and different places to eat.”
Club Riverside has partnered with The Real Canadian Superstore to shuttle residents every Tuesday to get to and from the grocery store, for free, to purchase foodstuffs.
“We boast a free bus pass or included parking for students. All the suites include internet, cable, [and are] fully furnished,” said Bello, adding that all a student needs to do upon arrival is bring “a hanger and their clothing …[they can] start living and focusing on school.”
Bello explained that the quality of the establishment was “unmatched anywhere in Windsor regarding [the] student rental market.”
“We’ve created a new niche. We’re providing better accommodations, more services, at a lower cost to students … who don’t want to be on campus … it’s providing an alternative,” he said.
Sutton explained that The Riverside Inn allowed for students to get a break from campus life while allowing easy access and transit to and from campus.
“People like being downtown [and] being able to get downtown,” said Sutton. “We’re right beside the bus terminal, you can get anywhere you want in the city … it’s simple for students [and] they don’t need to even transfer.”
Sutton also explained that both businesses and downtown residents have expressed excitement and are extremely eager about the prospect of professional students moving into the core.
“I definitely think that we’re setting the benchmark for student accommodations [because] we find that a lot of [professional students] have taken a lot of interest in this location,” said Bello. “[They] want to live a similar life to how you’re going to be living after you finish your degree. Students here get the unique opportunity to become [executives] and live an executive lifestyle before getting into the job market.”
At $745 all inclusive, it’s hard to argue that the services provided aren’t impressive. Amenities include a bus pass or parking permit, unlimited internet, cable television, access to a swimming pool, gym, saunas, a shuttle service to a grocery store, a concierge, access to onsite laundry facilities and the option of biweekly maid services.
Faiza Mirza a University of Windsor graduate of Human Resources Management international student from Pakistan explained that she liked the idea of the facility because it was close to the downtown campus and provided a transportation incentive.
“It’s not really convenient around the university…it’s not safe [and] it gets dodgy at night,” she said. “If students are sane and responsible students [I like it]. [The] party going type gets troublesome for everyone … if we live in a locality where the landlord or the building manager makes sure that partying isn’t going on…it works or me.”
“I’d love to live downtown,” expressed Mirza who complained about a lack of adequate entertainment in the west-end compared to other areas of the city.
Mirza also explained that she enjoyed the idea of direct transpiration to a grocery store because “cab fare and commuting across the city is not something that I find very convenient … I think that’s a great idea.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.