The Trembley Park Apartment Complex houses are currently located above the UC. In an email from Lehigh Housing Services, due to the recent approval of the Bridge West residence hall project, Trembley Park will be demolished. (Marni Wolchok/B&W Staff)

Trembley demolition eliminates on-campus housing for upperclassmen next academic year


There will be no on-campus living options for juniors and seniors during the 2019-2020 academic year, according to an email sent from Housing Services on Monday.

The announcement was made by Ozzie Breiner, the director of Housing Services, and Keith Blankenship, an assistant dean of students and the director of Residence Life.

According to the email sent to rising juniors and seniors, the first phase of the Bridge West residence hall project was approved this past week, which will include the demolition of the Trembley Park apartment complex. The time between Trembley’s demolition and the completion of Bridge West will present a shortage in supply for on-campus housing in the next academic year.

The email presents SouthSide Commons, a private apartment complex partnered with Lehigh, as an alternative to on-campus living.

According to the SouthSide Commons website, renting a four-person apartment for an “academic lease term” of 10 months — running from August 2019 to May 2020 — would cost $1,069 per person per month, or $10,690 for the academic year.

The Lehigh-affiliated apartment building SouthSide Commons is set to be completed in summer 2019. The building will offer 144 apartments for 424 upperclassmen students. (Rendering courtesy of Brent Stringfellow)

In this case, students will pay $1,460 more than what current residents of Farrington Square are paying for the 2018-2019 academic year. A similar four-person apartment in Farrington Square, Sayre Park, or Trembley are priced at $4,615 per semester this year, making them the most expensive housing options Lehigh offers.

It is unclear at this time if Lehigh will offer students forced to live off-campus additional financial assistance.

Both Housing Services and Residence Life were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Breiner and Blankenship direct students to contact Housing Services at 610-758-3501 or [email protected] with questions.

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  1. So about 3 people per apartment, that’s $3,000/month for the apartment. Which is HECKA expensive for a 3 bedroom (I hope) in Bethlehem. Do these apartments have in room Washer/Dryer, Washing machine, or other good amenities like other apartments of that price range do?

    And is this considered a dorm? Or just apartments that Lehigh owns? If it’s a dorm, you could say that lehigh needs payment for maintaining the building for the other 3 months that students aren’t there (which is their choice, since they kick you out). It still comes out to $2250/month, which is considerably more than I pay, and I get two parking spaces and can have a pet.

    • current student on

      SouthSide is an apartment built by a 3rd party on Lehigh owned land (I believe). So it is considered an apartment. Students who signed a lease early can get a parking space and everyone can have a pet. It does come with a washer/dryer and utilities included. Also fully furnished with nice furniture.

    • I Would've Appreciated Having SouthSide Commons on

      Disclaimer: I do not work for Lehigh or SouthSide Commons. I’m just good at reading information freely available online.

      From my understanding, SouthSide Commons will be built on Lehigh University property but operated by a private, third-party property management company and, therefore, will not be considered a University residence hall. There will be no Gryphons nor will the LUPD have any “special” right of entry beyond its legal right of entry as is the case with University buildings. Each apartment will have its own in-unit washing machine and dryer, and will come furnished will living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture and kitchen appliances, which is not often the case with traditional off-campus living options. According to its website, SouthSide Commons will also provide a gym, study lounge, outdoor grills, and “green space,” none of which would be provided with an off-campus house. Finally, SouthSide Commons will provide all-inclusive utilities and HD digital cable, both of which would be the tenant’s responsibilities in an off-campus house. SouthSide Commons tenants can also have pets, which some off-campus landlords don’t allow.

      More info:

      • Ah, interesting to know that it is is merely a residence as opposed to a residence hall. As with “Embarassed to be associated” below there. I find that even with amenities, $3000/month is a ridiculous price. Almost 3x what I pay with the same amenities. Actually I still have more amenities, because we have a small movie theater room and a pool table. I was not provided with a furniture you are correct. But when I lived in a house off campus at lehigh ($500/month/person with utilities, no amenities), I was still provided with much free furnishings, as previous residents had left couches, tables, bed frames, shelves… etc. And that house was not in… great… condition….

        Probably I am using too many words to make clear the point that this is Lehigh sanctioning overcharging for housing (unless you don’t think Lehigh was informed/agreed upon the plan the Southside commons gave them).

        Also, I would be curious to know how much Lehigh is charging Southside commons (since they… own the land you seem to be implying? or is the partnership some other kind?)

  2. Embarrassed to Be Associated on

    That is shameful. I live in NYC, specifically on the Upper East Side, walking distance from my office and anything I could possibly need (groceries, fitness studios, etc.), and feel like my rent is a STEAL reading this. No one should be paying that much to live in Southside Bethlehem regardless of how amenity-rich Southside Commons is. That is ridiculous and I am willing to justify a bit of frivolity in my life.

    I personally enjoyed living off-campus with friends as a senior much more than I ever did in the dorms, but how many of those houses are even available? I know many people, myself included, who essentially inherited a lease from friends who graduated the year before and passed it on to their younger friends when they left. My roommates and I did the same thing and the cycle perpetuated. Those houses may never be on the market! And that’s not including the ones inhabited by Southside residents who are not Lehigh students. How far away from the campus could students end up having to live? Also, I distinctly remember someone I knew who received a scholarship that she could only apply to campus housing, leading her to live on-campus during her final year despite the fact that she really didn’t want to. Will students like her be in financial turmoil due to the Trembley demolition.

    Granted, Trembley looked worn out when I was a student over a decade ago, but the school, as usual, needs to try harder.

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