Lobo Rainforest, set to open this fall, at about one-third capacity | KOB 4

Lobo Rainforest, set to open this fall, at about one-third capacity

Joy Wang
July 16, 2017 10:25 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – In east downtown just off Central Avenue, the new Lobo Rainforest apartments are under construction.

“It's an interesting idea,” said UNM student Gwendolin Orr. “I think it's definitely a good idea to have more sustainable or just overall better quality living areas.”

So far, 80 of the 310 beds have already been leased out. UNM Housing says the building is a partnership between the private and public domains, government and industry entities to create a rich higher education living experience.

“It's really peaceful. It's a great place to study and work. There's lots of resources around,” Orr said.

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment will cost about $674 a month, which adds up to just over $8,000 for a 12-month contract. It also includes a kitchen and a living area.

But some students argue the new apartments are too expensive and not for everyone, especially when they also have to pay for tuition that is steadily rising every year and the cut in lottery scholarship coverage.

“I think it'd be better to focus on affordable housing as opposed to making all these fancy, really hospitable, nice dormitories when you can just make regular dorms,” Orr said.

Some are also concerned about crime in the area.

“Even just walking along Central by myself, I always get kind of edgy a little bit because Central is not incredibly safe,” Orr said.

Earlier this month, APD told KOB it had a strategy in place to address the high amount of crime in that area. The university also says its own officers will be patrolling inside and outside the building.

“I think it’s nice that they're trying, but it's not really going to impact students like me who can't afford to and probably won’t,” Orr said.

But for students in UNM’s entrepreneurial program, the building will also include classroom space for the Innovation Academy.


Joy Wang

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