Carmel Pacific Ridge: bonafide livin’

By Kevin Crespo

Pristine, new, convenient and cheap: Carmel Pacific Ridge is the new living destination for sophomores at USD. The apartments across Linda Vista are attracting a plethora of students that are seeking to live close to campus while enjoying the benefits of off-campus living. With a strong student base during its first year of construction, the completed apartment complex will draw even more Toreros next year.

While students of all classes inhabit Carmel, it is the prime destination for sophomores that don’t want to live in the Vistas, but still want to be close to campus. Freshman Sara Pielsticker is hoping to live at Carmel next year.

“The apartments are so new, spacious and luxurious,” said Pielsticker. “They offer tons of amenities that are too great to pass up!”

Carmel offers several benefits to living that aren’t provided by upperclassmen housing including a jacuzzi, coffee lounge, game room, and even a wine bar. These ‘extras’ make living easy in the apartments, and give Carmel a country club kind of feel. But does it come at a country club price? Current sophomore and Carmel resident Mike Sussman rejects that hypothesis.

“Initially, the Carmel apartments seemed expensive, but they’re much cheaper compared to the Vistas,” Sussman said. “I’d rather pay $500/month to live in a new luxury apartment than pay $1100/month to live in the Vistas.”

When broken down by month, on-campus housing ends up being between $1000 and $1200 dollars per month, while Carmel ends up being half that, even though both situations involve sharing a bedroom with just one roommate. On a big picture scale, a year in Carmel would therefore cost as much as just a semester on campus.

The apartments also provide a sense of self sustainability and independence. Being off-campus can be a big change from dorm life and takes some effort to adjust to making living decisions without RAs and dorm sponsored events. However, the new responsibility allows for more freedom than living on-campus. It allows sophomores to get smaller meal plans than the on-campus requirements, or to even opt out completely and cook on your own every day. It also provides the opportunity to host parties and other events while meeting new people outside of a dorm or resident hall living situation.

On-campus housing is still enjoyable for those who chose that route. Vini Noetzel, a sophomore, has enjoyed her time in the Vistas this year.

“I love living in the Vistas because it’s my last chance to live with everyone in my class,” said Noetzel. “There is still a great sense of community that comes along with living on campus.”
USD’s administration is clearly aware of the student draw away from campus and toward Carmel. It has been rumored that, in the near future of USD, students will be required to live on campus for both their freshman and sophomore years, no doubt in an attempt to combat Carmel’s wooing of on-campus ‘customers’.

So as you look toward housing for next year at USD, try to consider what fits your housing needs. If walking up large hills, paying a hefty price and depending on RA’s isn’t quite your dream mansion, maybe look across the street for an alternative option.