A massive student-housing community under construction on Tucson's south side is fully leased and has a waiting list.

The Retreat on 22nd Street, between Park Avenue and Kino Parkway, is on track to open for the fall semester with 774 students in its 189 units.

The giant pool and weekend party bus are the big draws, students say.

The units have a common area with full-size kitchens with granite countertops and living rooms with hardwood floors. The bedrooms all have walk-in closets and private bathrooms.

The units come in two-bedroom models and go up to six-bedroom models. Rents range from $650 to $745 per bedroom per month and the units are furnished.

"We have one bedroom left to lease," Kirby Dykstra, leasing and marketing manager for The Retreat, said last week.

The students

University of Arizona students say they were drawn to the $31 million property for its amenities.

"I like that they're actual cottages and they're not apartments because apartments are super loud," said Logan Wreschner, 20, who is majoring in business management. "I think of it like a senior citizen living place, but for students."

She and three friends have signed a lease for a four-bedroom model that is near the 185,000-gallon swimming pool, which developers boast as the largest recreational pool in Tucson.

"The pool is going to be crazy. I'm so excited," Wreschner said. "I'm excited for the pool parties."

Currently living in a dormitory, she is looking forward to trading up from a twin bed to a queen-size bed, which all of the bedrooms have.

Wreschner, who is originally from Chandler, said she'll likely stay at The Retreat until she graduates and that her parents plan to visit the property once it's complete.

Sophomore Grant Gunderson, 19, and three of his fraternity brothers will move into a four-bedroom unit in the fall.

"It's a really big property and everyone has their own space," the business major said.

Gunderson, who is from Granite Bay, Calif., said he is most looking forward to lounging poolside.

"All the parties are going to be at the pool," he said with a laugh.

Lauren Serantes, 20, has also signed a lease for a four-bedroom unit that she will share with three friends.

"I like how all my friends are going to live there," the speech, language and hearing major said. "I love how the pool looks."

Because she lives in an apartment that is blocks away from campus and doesn't have a car, New York City native Serantes was nervous about moving far away.

The property is about 1 1/2 miles from campus.

"But then they told me about the shuttles I can use," she said. "And I love how on the weekends they will have shuttles going to the bars."

The free shuttle service will use bus-size vehicles and loop between The Retreat and UA campus every 20 minutes during school days, Dykstra said.

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the shuttle will run from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. to party spots decided on by the students.

The property

Security will be tight on the property, which will be surrounded by 8-foot walls with an additional 2 feet of wrought iron. Students will have remotes to access the property and security guards will be on site 24 hours a day, Dykstra said.

A 9,000-square-foot clubhouse will have a coffee bar, gymnasium, tanning beds and a spa.

The monstrous pool will have a beach walk-in area, tanning islands, a section for water volleyball, cabanas, hammocks and a bubble tub.

The project is pet-friendly and has a sand volleyball and bocce ball court.

The bedrooms are rented to individuals only, not couples, Dykstra said. And if a student drops out of school, he or she can still live on the property.

The Retreat is one of 15 student-housing projects by Athens, Ga.-based Landmark Properties, the developers, property managers and general contractors.

Student complexes at Penn State University, the University of Mississippi, University of Oregon and Oregon State University are also under construction.

The neighborhood

Some residents of the neighborhood immediately south of The Retreat were either unaware of or uninterested in the unfolding community.

Visits by a reporter to homes were greeted with rolling eyes or demands to leave the property.

Some residents expressed surprise that the complex was for college students.

"Shoot," one woman said. "I was hoping it was going to be Section 8 housing."

The dozen residents who did speak to a reporter declined to give their names.

The neighborhood is not represented by a homeowners association.


The Retreat is one of four student-housing complexes set to open this year in Tucson. Four additional complexes are slated to open by fall of 2014.

Source: CBRE


Visit landmark-properties.com to view the developer's properties or retreattucson.com to see what The Retreat will look like when finished.

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@azstarnet.com or 573-4232.