Step onto any college campus and you’ll find rows of fraternity and sorority houses. Some universities may have honors dorms or housing dedicated to college athletes. But just off campus at Drexel University, for the first time, there will be student housing designed for the food-obsessed.
Good Food Flats, the latest student resident building from Cross Properties, pairs the learning environment of a classroom with a dorm experience through a wealth of features geared toward Drexel University’s Hospitality and Sports Management program — or any other food and nutrition-minded non-Drexel students looking for an off-campus experience.
Located at 4030 Baring St., the flats are now leasing and will be open for residents late this summer, for the 2016-17 school year. With 44 fully furnished units — 175 beds available in total, with four-bedroom, two-bath shared apartments — Good Food Flats is Cross Properties’ first project in University City and will cost leasers $750 a month in rent.
Jonathan Deutsch, founding director of the school’s Center for Hospitality and Sports Management, had the idea for an all-inclusive housing residency targeting foodies. The flats will feature a pop-up restaurant/entrepreneur incubator and a food lab where local chefs will take part in teaching classes, urban garden spaces and a commercial kitchen, in addition to traditional amenities like study lounges, a fitness center, Wi-Fi and cable.
“Anybody in that world is going to be able to live here and have a community of like-minded individuals,” says Kevin Michals, co-founder of Cross Properties.
Programming planned for the learning spaces includes cooking classes and lessons on ways to start and manage restaurants or food trucks, he says.
With Drexel’s impressive lineup of restaurateur alumni and faculty like Nick Bayer, founder and CEO of Saxby’s Coffee, Iron Chef Jose Garces and James Beard award winner Marc Vetri, Michals noted the school’s continued dedication to the field.
“If Nick, Jose or Marc were going to Drexel,” he says, “this is where they’d want to live.”
Another unique facet of Good Food Flats’ structure is in its modular construction, meaning the building will be constructed almost completely off-site in a climate-controlled environment and then assembled at the building site. A similar modular apartment complex opened in 2010 near Temple University. However, the Good Food Flats will be the first to feature college major–driven environments.