I stayed here while I was preparing for the bar exam. While I was living there, it didn't seem like a bad place. Decent sized room, twin bed. The worst part was what I caught from the room. I got MRSA from the bed/room/etc i stayed in. I spent the summer with my skin falling off. I'm a pretty laid back guy but when it came to getting my security deposit back they tried to say that I did "clean" sufficiently. It took me three months, two people that were "in charge" and a threat to sue to get my deposit back. Since getting a staph infection was "my fault because I didn't clean." Good luck getting anyone from management to get back to you. I have some other awful stories. If you want a few more, let me know. Message me. The people that work the front desk are very nice and do the best they can. The owners won't do shit for you.
I currently live here. Management is shitty and they take forever getting back to you. The maintenance workers that were working here when I first moved in aren't here anymore because they got caught breaking into people's rooms and taking money off dressers. There were four different property managers hired in the span of one year. In the individual rooms, the carpets are nasty, the windows won't open up all the way, there's not enough space in the fridge, the washer & dryer will sometimes stop working randomly, and the lobby constantly smells like weed. The creepy security guard here at night followed me up to my apartment one time. Oh and management won't work with you, even when you have horrible, obnoxious roommates. If anything, they insist on some bullshit Dr. Phil type mediation process even when the people you're living with are nothing immature, nasty freshman girls. Everyone that I know has moved out because they've all had enough. STAY AWAY FROM THE VARSITY!!! YOU WILL REGRET LIVING HERE!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
I love coming home from work late at night and working out. They used to not have the gym covers but after they installed them, I'm much more comfortable. UB doesn't have a lot of safe 24 hour study spaces so I like that they do here. It would be nice to have vending machines in the study rooms for late nights but other than that its not too bad. I wish they had free residential parking because everything else is so expensive. Staff is nice but there has been a lot of turn around. Overall, its a cute place to live in Mount Vernon.
College students: Look for something else. The Varsity is not at all worth the price. The roommate pairing "system" they use sucks. I was a 21-year-old transfer who'd lived on my own for almost four years, and I got paired with three girls ages 16-18. I asked to be moved and was told that there weren't any other similar apartments available. Maintenance was unreliable at best. I waited 3+ days, on multiple occasions, for a broken toilet or drain to be fixed. The wifi on my floor was awful the last year I was there, constantly cutting in and out, and was never fixed despite complaints from many tenants. The guest policy, or the anti-guest policy, was that guests could only stay 1 school night or 2 weekend nights, and they had to show ID at the door. I was paying for a ROOM in a 4-person apartment that cost more than almost all comparable rented rooms elsewhere in Baltimore, yet I had no control over who I could have visit me, even if I got my roommates' blessing. They would also lock the stair entrance after 9 pm, and post a security guard at the front entrance all night (one of which sexually harassed me on a regular basis-- when I told the Varsity, they said that the security company was a separate entity and they had "no control over it"). On weekends, they also had a security guard at the back stairwell who would CHASE YOU UP THE STAIRS and accost you if you did not show him your key first. Other complaints: I constantly got "late rent" notices even though I never paid rent late, the rooms are tiny, the carpet stains if you even look at it, the elevators were often broken, and the walls were paper-thin -- all the better to hear the weekly loud parties.
My review is mainly for the management. It's ran by students really, and they are unprofessional and often do not know what is going on. I'm not sure who gave them the idea that it is acceptable to not show potential renters their actual units and to over-promise. They are horrible, especially towards students. Parents should be aware that they would pressure students into accepting units. You have the right to see a room before you agree to rent it. Never, ever take their words at face value. Always insist on seeing the actual rooms before you sign. They will always tell you that a particular unit is the "last unit" available. Or that the room you'll get is "similar." The building largely empty because of they have some really tiny rooms - cubicles really. My roommate signed her lease without seeing her room and was trapped in a 1 year lease. Note that you have to pay 300 dollars to "break the lease" *and* is responsible to find sublessee – they almost never let you move out or transfer apartments, even you have problems with your rooms or roommates, despite their attempts at roommate-matching. In other words, if you are alright with a management that's more like a high school committee than a professional business, go ahead. It's sort of like a college dorm really, complete with RAs that aren't all that mature. If you want to move into the apartment, be prepared with the knowledge that this property doesn't treat their existing residents with much respect. They'll try to fob you off with excuses, stories and confabulations. They can’t even get their story straight for goodness sake.