Monday, January 30, 2023

University Trails Meets Growing Demand for Off-Campus Housing

University Trails is an apartment living community that is adamant about getting its residents outdoors to enjoy their surroundings. Located on Old Taylor Road, the complex is working to take full advantage of its ample green space and prime location in front of Whirlpool trails.

Property manager Augusta Dunavin (left) with her staff at University Trails
Property manager Augusta Dunavin (left) with her staff at University Trails

University Trails has many of the same amenities that other apartment complexes offer, such as an indoor exercise facility, computer lab, and tanning bed for residents. But, according to property manager Augusta Dunavin, its outdoor spaces are the biggest feature to set it apart.
“We have a ton of green space here,” Dunavin said. “Other properties have a big parking lot and they don’t really have a place where you can run or play with your dog.”
The apartment complex offers amenities to encourage use of the nearby trails.
“We’re on the biking trails, so we offer free bike rentals for residents and it’s really great,” Dunavin said. “We’re going to have to order more for next year because we can never keep them; people are constantly checking them out.”
Overlooking the University Trails pool deck is a terrace that becomes “Hammock City” in the warmer months.
“When the weather is nice, we keep the hammocks all up there and you can go out and just swing or hang out or study and it’s really nice,” Dunavin said.
U Trails is also in the process of adding an outdoor amphitheater next to the pool, which will be used for outdoor concerts and movie screenings throughout the year.
As a leasing incentive, University Trails will be giving away prizes, for which anyone who has signed a lease is eligible. Prizes include a bike from The Bike Shop in Oxford and a set of two tickets to Hangout Festival, a music event in Gulf Shores, Ala.
University Trails apartments are located on Old Taylor Road near the Whirlpool trails.
University Trails apartments are located on Old Taylor Road near the Whirlpool trails.

“It goes along with what we’re trying to do with getting people outside,” Dunavin said of the giveaway. “Hangout Festival is awesome; it’s out at the beach and has really great music. With the bike, obviously we’re on the trails, and then The Bike Shop is something local we can support.”
University Trails also boasts one of the least expensive rates available for off-campus housing.
“Our rents are not only cheap, but they include furniture, all your utilities, cable and Internet—basically even if you didn’t even have a car this would be a really great place to live,” Dunavin said. “Just bring your clothes and move in, and it’s really easy.”
In the past two years, University Trails has leased out all of its 492 bed-spaces, but there is still availability for this year. The change in policy for on-campus housing drove an influx of people to U Trails, according to Dunavin.
“That very day when they first announced it, we were really busy and we signed a bunch of leases,” she said.
The complex is already ahead of where it was at the point last year in the pre-lease season.
University Trails uses their customized Smart Car to promote their apartments around town.
University Trails uses their customized Smart Car to promote their apartments around town.

Members of the Oxford community can spot U Trails promoters by looking for their customized Smart Car around town.
“It’s for everyone who works here to drive around town—we can take it to lunch, take it to run errands, drive it around the Square or campus,” Dunavin said.
Less than a mile from campus, University Trails’ atmosphere mirrors Ole Miss’s family feel, illustrated by the joking way that Dunavin interacts with her staff.
“I’ve heard people say that the reason they’ve chosen us versus somewhere else down the road is that it’s comfortable here—they come in and it feels like home,” Dunavin said.
-Grace Sullivan, Staff Writer, Gmsulli1@go.olemiss.edu

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