April 22, 2019 | 63° F

Future of Rockoff Hall uncertain, officials say

University-leased apartments may be sold after this year

Photo by Noah Whittenburg |

Rockoff Hall, a University residence hall in downtown New Brunswick, might be sold after its contract with the New Brunswick Development Corporation expires this year.

Rockoff Hall, owned by the New Brunswick Development Corporation, will likely change ownership as its contract nears expiration, said Joan Carbone, associate vice president of Student Affairs for Housing and Residence Life.

Located in downtown New Brunswick, between the College Avenue and Douglass campuses, the apartments will likely still be rented out to individuals seeking housing, but will no longer be affiliated with the University, said Richard L. Edwards, executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

“My guess is that the new owners would still be interested in renting to Rutgers students, but [the University] would no longer be involved like they were in the past with running the facilities as an official Rutgers residence hall,” Edwards said.

Carbone said the University would work with students to ensure the change in ownership would not affect them.

“We have a very good relationship with DEVCO, and DEVCO is very interested in having students have fair and appropriate things happen to them,” Carbone said. “We will make sure students are transitioned properly.”

A representative for DEVCO was unavailable for comment at press time.

Carbone said students would under no circumstances be left in a lurch, and the University will take care of them.

“If there is a sale we will make sure that transition goes smoothly,” she said.

Vivaldo Moraes Pinto Jr., a School of Engineering junior, exchange student from Brazil, said Rockoff offers many benefits to those who live there.

“It’s bad because we have to take two buses, but it also has some advantages, like we don’t have Post Office boxes, so we can get mail from FedEx, anybody, it’s like normal mail,” Pinto said.

He said there is a large population of international students, including himself, in Rockoff Hall.

Because Pinto came at the last minute, Rockoff Hall was the only residence hall with available space, he said.

Dina Odeh, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said the hall’s area and surrounding neighborhood pose problems for students in terms of navigating the University’s five campuses.

“It’s not that bad — it’s just the location is kind of far from everything, so when you have to get to Livingston and Busch [campuses], it’s just a pain,” Odeh said.

For Odeh, the distance is not the only challenge that comes with living in the apartments.

“Besides it being far ... the fact that it’s kind of the divide between really bad New Brunswick and good New Brunswick, so being out at night is a little sketchy,” Odeh said.

She said the apartment staff is helpful in solving any issues students may have.

“When you need to get something done, if you ask them, they’re pretty good about getting it, the security’s good … and having a 7-11 is really convenient,” Odeh said.

If given the choice, Odeh said she and her roommate might not choose to live in Rockoff again.

“I think we’d try to go somewhere else. I don’t think we’d be as upset if we had to live here again, but I think if we had the choice, we would probably live elsewhere,” Odeh said.

By Brianna Provenzano

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