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Students Paying More For Housing

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Students Paying More For Housing
If a property isn’t providing what students want, landlords hear about it. Students—and their parents—vote with their dollars, so there's no cutting corners. Just like with plagiarism, you will get caught.
 
Students Paying More For Housing
The trickiness of student housing was one of the takeaways from Bisnow’s Chicago Student Housing Summit last week. Housing a large number of college-aged youth who show up all at the same time expecting many of the comforts of home, but without a lot of pesky restrictions, is a lot different than building and operating a multifamily property for working-aged adults. (Even with the ageless antics of your cool Uncle Darren.)
 
Students Paying More For Housing
325 attendees heard two panels at the Chicago W-City Center. The campus development panel was moderated by Holland & Knight co-chair of national real estate education Tony Frink.
 
Reznick (CohnDebut) MCHI
Students Paying More For Housing
Scion Group president Robert Bronstein (with Loyola University VP capital planning Wayne Magdziarz), whose company owns 16 student housing properties totaling 11,500 beds, says you need to appeal to today’s students, but also design for the life of the structure, 20 or 30 years. It’s a tall order, considering how quickly tastes change. (Next year, students might rebel and insist all common spaces be turned into Olive Gardens. They're a fickle bunch.) Another component of change is a phenomenal growth in international students. They have needs and expectations of their own that landlords would do well to understand and accommodate.
 
Bisnow (Sales) Jumbo
Students Paying More For Housing
Wayne, whose university has 4,500 beds, says that before Loyola designs new housing, planners talk with students, past and present, about their housing experience, as well as anyone else who lives on campus (RAs, chaplains). “We don’t want the physical structure of the buildings determining the student residential experience,” he says, adding that the student housing experience is fundamental to student retention. Also, first- and second-year students who have a good housing experience are more likely to stay in student housing during their later years.
Students Paying More For Housing
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign executive director of student housing Jack Collins says first- and second-year students are the majority in student housing, so they put extra emphasis on their needs. In general, the boundaries of acceptable behavior are a little wider than they might be for a private landlord (but there are definite boundaries, kids, so put down the silly string). He also says it’s clear that students and parents want the best housing available because they’re willing to pay a little more for it—despite concerns about the overall high cost of higher education.
Students Paying More For Housing
Roosevelt University assistant VP for campus planning Paul Matthews stresses the importance of housing in the competition for private institutions to attract and especially retain students. "Students often come from houses with private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, TVs in their rooms, and the university wants them to get the same amenities they had at home, or in some cases a little better. We want to compete with the best facility we can,” he says. "Student housing should provide a place to study hard, but also enjoy living in the city."