Florida International University are moving into a new private apartment tower in Sweetwater, across the street from the main campus on Southwest Eighth Street.
The 109 Tower, 737 SW 109th Ave., has opened its doors, with students moving in this weekend.
“It is exciting,” Sweetwater Mayor Jose Diaz said. “It is the genesis for a new future of the city of Sweetwater.”
On Wednesday, Aug. 13, the building opened its doors to the public to display what it offers, which is something fresh for the area said Scott Barton, an executive with building owner EdR.
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“We couldn’t be any more pleased it offers amenities to students that has never been offered in this market ever before,” he said.
The 15-story building offers 4-bedroom and 2-bedroom units equipped with bathroom, washer/dryer, furniture, television set, mattresses, fitness center, theater room, rooftop pool, and other forms of entertainment. Prices for a room start at roughly $785 per person but vary for a 12-month lease. The rooms may be rented by anyone.
Students get their own bedroom and bathroom but share the rest of the apartment with room-mates.
On the ground level, Barton said there is 4,500 square feet of retail space.
Another similar building is planned nearby, at 109th Avenue and Fourth Street. Also, there will be sidewalks and landscaping improvements. In 2017, a grant will help pay a pedestrian overpass bridge over Eighth Street to campus.
The bridge will be located in the city’s university district, which includes the area between 107th and 109th avenues and between Sixth and Seventh streets, with a small portion that may go farther north up to Fourth Street.
FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus is between Southwest 107th Avenue and Florida’s Turnpike, south of Eighth Street, just outside Sweetwater’s city limits.
The changes are vital for the city, said Diaz, especially since the developments’ impact fees have helped reduce the tax rate.
“We don’t have to increase anything to our residents,” he said.
Barton said he is confident this is just a stepping stone to more future projects in the area.
“It ushers a new era in student housing and the FIU community,” he said. “We know it won’t stop here.”