Greek housing on track; waiting out economic times

Spinnaker

Several advances have been made in the realization of Greek housing on campus, but current economic and housing conditions will not allow the university to finance the construction for Greeks right now, UNF
officials said.

The lease documents, architectural guidelines and other supplementary documents are near finalization and will be reviewed this week, said Shari Shuman, vice president of administration and finance.

These steps were part of the original permitting phases, which were scheduled to be completed around February 2009, Shuman told the Spinnaker in 2008.

“There’s going to be a security deposit and a rental fee, neither of which has been identified or put into the lease yet,” said Shuman, a University of Florida Greek alumna of Alpha Epsilon Phi. “That portion of the housing permits has not been finalized yet, but will be very shortly.”

She estimates the deposit will roughly be about $25,000 and that several Greek organizations must raise at least that much to show genuine interest in the project. She added they will have to raise more than that before UNF posts the estimated $3 million in infrastructure.

“As soon as we get that [deposit], we will be able to know that there is enough of a commitment,” Shuman said.

The security deposit will be applied toward a $100,000, 40-year lease agreement, she said.

The lease agreements were part of Shuman’s backup plan in the case that UNF couldn’t wholly finance Greek housing.

“Originally we thought there was a chance we would be able to finance some of the housing,” Shuman said. “However, with the housing market, the budget reduction and reduced enrollment, the way that we would have been able to do that housing – to provide for it and basically have a lease year-to-year – was if we could put it as part of our housing system bonds.”

Shuman said UNF cannot support more capital in the housing program because of those
conditions.

But once market conditions improve, financing options will be revisited for those Greek organizations that were not able to build housing on their own, an option that was present all along, Shuman said.

“It’s always better to go and get your own, than paying someone else,” Shuman said. “If you can do it, go for it; if you can’t, we’ll try and help you.”

E-mail Jonathan Morales at [email protected]

Editor’s note:
See the correction from the Greek housing article HERE.