During housing selection coverage this afternoon, Bwog staffers manning The Couch discovered a dorm about which we had not previously been aware: the brownstone at 627 W. 115th Street. We have not yet been able to gather information from actual current residents of this mysterious dorm, but we still quickly compiled this quasi-housing review in order to inform rising seniors and juniors who have yet to pick about the full breadth of their options.
Location: 627 W. 115th St., as the title suggests. This brownstone has yet to earn a colloquial name.
- Nearby dorms: Woodbridge, Schapiro, the 600s, River
- Stores and restaurants: 115th Street halal cart, Morton Williams, Starbucks, Sweetgreen, Pret A Manger, Shake Shack
627 W 115th St. was formerly the house of Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT), but became an official Columbia property after the frat lost it due to violations in spring 2013. The brownstone was renovated that summer, and became a dorm for primarily transfer students the following fall. A couple of select suites were available during housing selection last year (2017), similar to the situation for Carlton Arms, but the options open to students in regular selection are far greater this year. (It’s still under 10 suites, but for a dorm that has only 15 suites total, that’s a lot.)
Cost: The standard $9,538/year.
- Bathrooms: Private – one per apartment.
- AC/Heating: Yes to heating, no to AC.
- Kitchen/Lounge: Each apartment has a small kitchen with a refrigerator, sink, and stove.
- Laundry: Available in the basement.
- Fire Escapes: None.
- Gym: None in the building, but Dodge is pretty close.
- Bike Storage: None.
- Intra-transportation: No elevator – only stairs.
- Hardwood/Carpet: No carpet.
- Roof: Your own roof!!
- Note: Unlike most Columbia dorms (but like most upperclass Barnard dorms), the kitchens and bathrooms in this brownstone are not cleaned every week by housing staff; residents are on their own.
- This brownstone, similar to Symposium (548 W 113th St), consists of spacious studio singles, doubles, and triples. And when we say spacious, we do mean spacious: the doubles range from 186 to 456 square feet, and the triple (on the first floor) is a whopping 923 square feet. Just check out these floor plans!
- As of the writing of this post (after one day of housing selection), 3 studio doubles and 5 3-person apartments (one single and one double) are available during 2018 in-person housing selection.
- One double (2A) and the triple (1A) have been taken so far, based on Bwog’s records from today; both went to groups with numbers above 30/2200.
- Last year, 627 was not available in the housing lottery to the extent that it is this year, so it is not listed on Res Life’s cutoff history page. However, Bwog records from last year indicate that suite 5A went to 30/2575, suite 3C went to 28.33/2049, and suite 1B went to 20/945.
- Tl;dr: there’s no real way to predict who will take the suites available this year, but we believe rising seniors who haven’t yet picked, mixed groups, and rising juniors with good numbers all have decent shots.
If you didn’t get that Watt two-bedroom apartment you coveted, are upset about how quickly the Woodbridge high-demand suites went, or really are any two- or three-person group picking tomorrow, you should seriously consider 627 W 115th. Sure, there’s no elevator and the lack of AC will be uncomfortable for a few weeks, but the rooms in this dorm are so big and so nice, a Res Life worker we spoke to said it really has no compare among Columbia housing options. 627 would give you a great location, recently renovated apartments, and hardly any neighbors. Plus, how often do you get the option to live in a real New York brownstone (with your own roof!) for only $9,538 a year?
If you currently live in this brownstone or know anyone who does, please drop us a line via email@example.com, in the comments, on our social media, or literally in person in the John Jay lounge tomorrow. We would love to update this post with photos and resident opinions if at all possible.
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