Originally scheduled to open its doors in July of 2016, State College’s newest high rise finally welcomed in new residents last weekend. The Metropolitan replaced an Arby’s that went out of business in 2014 and is looked at as perhaps the most luxurious — not to mention expensive — housing available to students in the area.
The Metropolitan released a 3D rendering of the building last spring to give future student residents and State College locals an idea of what to expect. Now that move in weekend is through and everyone is settled in to their new crib, here’s a look at how The Metropolitan stacks up.
While there is ongoing debate about whether high rises should be a fixture of downtown State College in general, there’s no denying the fact that the location of The Metropolitan is great for those who live there. On the corner of Atherton and College Ave., the building is close to all the activities downtown has to offer and is cater-cornered from campus, so walking to class is mostly doable.
The Met didn’t provide pictures of the finished apartments before everyone arrived, leaving residents to wonder what exactly they would be walking into on move-in day. The 3D rendering presented the apartments as luxuriously finished and spacious, with even the double bedrooms having ample space. In reality, the finishes of the apartment are quite nice.
With laminate flooring that resembles hardwood, dark cabinets, and stone countertops, the kitchen area lives up to expectations. Although smaller than the video makes it out to be, the living space is nicely outfitted with dark couches, matching dark wood furniture, and a flat screen TV.
The bedrooms, on the other hand, leave something to be desired. Each room comes with a full sized bed, which is a great perk. Unfortunately, in the double rooms, that’s about all that can fit. The rooms are definitely not as spacious as the rendering made them seem.
There is a wall between the two beds in double rooms to give a sense of privacy, but the wall has a large cutout to allow natural light through the entire room, totally eliminating the sense of privacy that was originally implied. The single rooms are a bit better with some room to move around, but all the rooms lack built-in closets and storage space.
Amenities and Retail Space
The first two floors of the building are dedicated to retail space. Right now, these floors are still in the early phases of construction. Nothing but cement and construction workers decorate these floors, and there is still no word as to what exactly is being put there or how soon we can expect it to be finished.
The access to certain amenities was an important reason the building was getting so much attention. The building plans boasted about a pool, outdoor lounge space, indoor lounge, gym, and study spaces. These are all located on the third floor of the building, above the supposed retail space and they mark the beginning of the residential floors.
The gym, indoor lounge, and study spaces are finished for the most part and while they continue with the theme of not being as large as they appeared in the rendering, they all serve their purpose quite well and include high-end finishes similar to the apartments.
Residents were disappointed to see that the pool is, well, not a pool at the moment. A large black square hole exists which appears to have the intention to be a pool, but looks far from being completed. With only a few weeks during the school year being suitable for pool use, it is disappointing to see this amenity is not finished as expected.
Many residents are already complaining of the limited elevator access. The building only has two elevators for all 12 floors and the four-story underground parking garage. Although this may not be a huge problem during most times of year, some residents say it took them nearly six hours to move their stuff in because of elevator lines that were more than an hour long on multiple floors.
The Little Things
As previously mentioned, no pictures or videos were posted of the progress being made on the building over the summer. Although the rooms were finished and ready for students on the scheduled move in day, it is quite clear the building was rushed to be completed in time.
There is still evidence of construction and “wet paint” signs were around on move in day. It’s obvious the details were overlooked near the end of the construction process in order to have the building ready in time. Some apartments have their water hooked up incorrectly, and residents started with cold showers before they realized that the water hookups are reversed — in order to get hot water, you have to set the faucet on cold and vice versa.
Some residents didn’t receive all of their furniture and arrived to leaky ceilings and broken appliances…not quite the standard of living these high-paying renters were expecting.
Overall, The Metropolitan was hyped up so severely leading up to its opening that it would be hard to meet every expectation. While the apartments are some of the nicest around available for students, they don’t offer a ton of space and are currently missing some of the amenities promised, with no given date as to when they will be completed.
The building’s current rating on Google is a measly one star, and while that may be a bit harsh, the building just doesn’t live up to the five-star living that was promised. If you’re looking into living at The Metropolitan for next school year, you may want to stop in and check out a room before you sign any dotted line.