New apartment in Midtown waiting for fall applications

The new student housing apartment is off campus, includes seven floor plans and various convenient amenities . Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

The Catalyst, a new apartment complex primarily for college students, is coming soon. Located in West Midtown Atlanta, it is “steps from Georgia Tech” and only a 10-minute drive from the Downtown campus. 

Jessica Nix, senior vice president of marketing and leasing, said the Catalyst community is “intentionally built for local students where all the comforts of home are included, with an amenity package that will encourage academic success, fitness and relaxation.”

The Catalyst has seven floor plans with different prices, all fully furnished with individual bathrooms. The cheapest option is a four-room plan for $995 per person per month. The three-room option costs $1,165, the two 2-room options cost from $1,245 to $1,350, and a private room option is $1,655

“Most utilities are also included in that price. The $995 rate is a limited offer and will expire soon.” Nix said. “This has been a popular option for Georgia State students as there is no better deal for a brand new community built in the area.”

According to The Catalyst website, the apartment has various convenient amenities, including a fitness center, a bike repair station, an elevated swimming pool, private balconies, 24/7 package delivery lockers, a 55-inch smart TV in each room and a dog park. 

In contrast, Georgia State housing only offers half-day mailroom operation, has no TV in rooms and is not pet-friendly. The only two exceptions are service and emotional support animals, which are only for people with disabilities and service animal trainers. 

The Catalyst is close to many attractions. There are various restaurants and bars nearby, including Chick-fil-A, Eight Sushi Lounge, Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria and Barcelona Wine Bar. It only takes an eight-minute drive to Piedmont Park and a 10-minute drive to the nearest Kroger. 

The Catalyst website states that the apartment “seeks to bring you a living environment that will help you elevate your lifestyle, foster lifetime connections and make your mark during your college years.” 

Although there are six residence halls on campus, many Georgia State students still prefer living off-campus, like senior Paul Bourlet. 

Cost is the primary issue for most students. Georgia State housing website states that the cheapest on-campus residence hall option this year is the large two-person shared room in Piedmont North, which costs $3,067 per semester. Its total cost for a semester is $5,088, including the seven-day mandatory meal plan for $1,971 and housing maintenance fee for $50.

“If you can find the right roommates, I think off-campus housing is great because it is usually cheaper and gives you a feeling of independence,” Bourlet said. “The main challenge used to be finding parking at Georgia State, but now because of coronavirus, thankfully, that is no longer an issue.”

Freshman Cassidey Nichols thinks the meal plan Georgia State housing offers is not cheap, either. 

“I chose to stay off campus because I knew I didn’t need a food plan. It saved me a whole bunch of money. I am able to cook my own meals and buy groceries that last instead of the meal plan.” Nichols said. “Also, I have my own bedroom and bathroom, and the cost difference was about $1,200. The apartment was cheaper.”

Senior Malina Hubbard, who used to be a Georgia State student, also shared her reasons for choosing off-campus housing. 

She stayed on-campus during her freshman year, but because of the high cost, she thought “it doesn’t beat off-campus living” even if students can choose their roommates based on personality. 

According to Georgia State’s housing website, parking costs $400 each semester, which is also too expensive for her. 

“All freshman year, I didn’t have my car on campus because it was so expensive. Many off-campus housing options have a cheaper parking deck fee or free total,” Malina said. “Dorms are much more expensive than other housing options for students when you do the math.”

In addition to the costs, she thinks off-campus apartments provide more freedom to students. 

Georgia State housing quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Residents also need to regularly check-in with their resident assistants, which does not happen in off-campus apartments. 

“Plus, some apartments or wherever accepts financial aid. It’s also a little more freedom, and you feel less watched over but still a part of being a student. For example, I remember in Georgia State dorms, we had quiet hours a certain time of night.” Malina said. “Also, off-campus living provides more customization to your rooms and more contemporary spaces sometimes.” 

Nix said The Catalyst is still under construction and will be ready by August. Its sign-in list for the fall semester is already open. Students can visit their leasing office in-person and apply on the apartment website.