As you enter the lobby of the NXNW Student Housing complex and are greeted by the Community Assistant, you are immediately struck by the luxurious living amenities available to all who reside in the vast complex reminiscent of a resort setting.
“There is nothing else like it in Bellingham,” says Larry MacDonald, General Manager. “It’s like a stepping stone out of the dorms and into your own place complete with luxury amenities.”
While not owned or operated by Western Washington University, NXNW Student Housing provides that bridge for all of the students residing there. NXNW offers a community of support, close proximity to campus, security and on-site management and maintenance.
MacDonald describes the caring environment of WWU and how NXNW has become an extension of that university support system. “We are just an extension of that. It’s a safe place for anyone living here who still wants that connection to the campus,” says MacDonald.
The upscale amenities include a clubhouse with a common area for meeting friends and relaxing, a study lounge equipped with two Macs and two Dell computers, a game room complete with a kitchen for entertaining and a television for catching favorite shows or sporting events. Residents also enjoy 24-hour coffee and a mini market along with a fully-equipped 24-hour fitness room with a tanning bed.
At NXNW, the outdoors is the place to congregate in great weather with a courtyard boasting BBQ grills, two sand volleyball courts, hammock stations, concrete ping pong and chess tables and fire pits. Residents with pets are welcome. They have access to multiple pet stations throughout the property for convenience.
“NXNW Student Housing provides a safe place for students to live off campus and still be with their peers,” MacDonald continues. “This is how community living starts.”
That community support is apparent in residents’ accessibility to the onsite management and maintenance crew and through the shuttle service provided each day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to the WWU campus.
With a definitive need for affordable housing in Bellingham, NXNW Student Housing has changed rental opportunities for students and others in the area. The complex opened on September 19, 2016 and the timing couldn’t have been better with WWU seeing a growth in enrollment. “This was a need and a niche,” says Aaron Cohn, Assistant General Manager of the luxury property. “We recognized the need, got situated and built close to campus.”
With two and three bedroom apartments featuring granite countertops, full-size, front-loading washer and dryers and separate baths, residents have found NXNW Student Housing to be a great community with everything they need. Each apartment is fully furnished with a common area that boasts a TV with wireless and cable television. The kitchens come with stainless steel appliances. Each bedroom is individually leased with apartment roommates chosen through a matching system involving a questionnaire when a specific roommate isn’t requested.
Beyond the upscale living found at the NXNW Student Housing complex is the supportive and community-oriented environment. With a good percentage of international students, age range and a mix of executives, students and even faculty, everyone experiences the variety. “You find that you grow with them,” says Cohn of the experience.
MacDonald adds, “It’s an enthusiastic group of kids writing their own story. It’s exciting.”
Working with the University, NXNW strives to create a seamless relationship that makes students feel that they are still connected to campus and not missing the action and events happening around them. That relationship continues through the development of programs in conjunction with WWU, anticipated at the complex later this year.
MacDonald and Cohn describe the relationships they have formed with both the residents and the parents of the students along with watching the students congregate in the clubhouse or even outside for the seasonal snowball fight. “It’s really learning how to live with others,” MacDonald says. “Our onsite NXNW Staff have become an integral part of the lives of the residents.”
At NXNW, staff members are also residents. These individuals work to create a community environment through monthly events such as a big pancake breakfast or as simple as danish and muffin platters in the morning to start the day. MacDonald explains that the decision to hire residents is intentional, as residents are perfectly positioned to create the best possible environment at NXNW. He is proud of the strong team that has resulted. “They are the ones helping residents daily,” says MacDonald.
The appeal to parents has been the availability of onsite management to simply check in on their students residing at NXNW Student Housing as well as knowing there is maintenance staff on site should anything need attention. “We definitely provide a bridge to real life,” says MacDonald. “Parents have peace of mind with their students living here.”
The NXNW Student Housing complex is an ideal housing option for those who are looking for a connection to WWU and a community to call home in Bellingham. NXNW offers housing for 648 residents in 248 apartments in thirteen buildings with three to four floors each.
“We’ve set the bar high,” says MacDonald. “We’ve created a community and even created jobs for students residing here at NXNW Student Housing. People really like it here.”