Best of '14: A Thorough Approach to New Student Housing Developments

12/15/2014
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​With two more projects underway in Ann Arbor, Mich. and Ames, Iowa, our student housing portfolio continues to expand. As we look to new opportunities, we’ve maintained our focus and prudently considered various factors before moving forward with development and construction.

Over the past four years, we’ve developed a student housing niche composed of prime locations near large universities, small- to medium-sized projects and creating density to maximize value. We’ve built three projects near the University of Minnesota—Stadium Village Flats, The Station on Washington and Venue at Dinkytown—because the University’s size and lack of quality housing options has created a demand that has exceeded supply and offered development opportunities.

Our experience has proven that close proximity to a main entrance to campus, walkability and supporting the desires of the university’s community are critically important factors. At Iowa State University we’re building The Foundry near a main entrance to the campus. Venue at Dinkytown has an 88 walk score and a 98 bike score. Varsity Quarters near the University of Wisconsin-Madison has an 80 walk score and a 100 bike score. Ivy on Fourteenth also delivers another pedestrian-friendly option for students adjacent to the Marquette University campus.

Finally, we are always monitoring the supply of housing and, more particularly, new housing at any campus we have a project. Our niche formula calls for securing well located sites for small- to medium-sized projects at large universities where demand is outpacing supply. Our vertically integrated approach that brings engineers, architects and project managers together early in a project gives us an advantage over the competition in executing our student housing strategy.