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The Amenities Arms Race Rages as Deliveries Slow

The Amenities Arms Race

Digested from Dallas Morning News

Students in The Lone Star, which has seen a big influx of student housing, are enjoying state-of-the-art amenities.

The amenities in student housing communities are not what they used to be.

Yesterday’s old brick buildings with few if any amenities have yielded to today’s modern high-rises with state-of-the-art fitness centers and resort-style pools, according to The Dallas Morning News’ Steve Brown.

“We call it the amenities arms race,” Brent Little, CEO of Dallas-based Fountain Residential Partners tells Brown. “The projects are offering more and more. There are lazy river water features at the pools. And you can’t build a fitness center that's big enough.”

Little is a long-time student housing operator who has worked at JPI Student Living Development and Place Properties. At Fountain, he has built projects at TCU, the University of North Texas, the University of Houston and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

After 60,000 student beds were built in 2013 and 2014, deliveries slowed to the 45,000-to-50,000 range in 2015 and 2016, according to Greg Willett, chief economist with Richardson-based RealPage. He expects that number to decline to 40,000 in 2018.

Even with a slight decline, student housing has made tremendous strides since the recession.

“The industry has grown leaps and bounds and is attracting a lot of capital,” said Fountain Residential's Trevor Tollett tells Brown. “We do a lot of work in Texas because there are a lot of universities in Texas.”

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