How Developers Walk the Amenity Balancing Act
Digested from RE Journals
To build on infill sites near campus, developers need to add amenities. But they cannot sacrifice too much rentable space.
Today’s student housing is not like the old post-War concrete dorms of yesteryear. High-tech, amenity-laden offerings are coming online at colleges and universities around the country.
Over the past decade, student housing developers have begun seeking land at infill locations that are close to campus. While developers can market the short distance to campus at these sites, there are challenges.
“Choosing these sites tends to limit a project’s capacity, however. As larger sites close to campus become increasingly difficult to obtain, more developers are opting to deliver boutique, mid-sized student housing on smaller footprints,” writes Matt Baker for RE Journals. “The suite of amenities can therefore drive up rents and make the project more profitable.”
But amenities can also steal rentable space, which can be hard to find in these infill developments.
“The solution that many developers have come to is to add a retail component, such as a coffee shop or fitness facility, into a mixed-use building that caters to the public but that can also double as an amenity to student tenants,” Baker writes.