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It's The Little Things In Student Housing


Roosevelt University made a big splash last year with its new $128.5M, 32-story, 650-bed vertical campus, 425 S Wabash Ave, and now the school's making little tweaks to attract students and directly impact the bottom line, campus planning whiz Steve Hoselton tells us. This year it converted 18 large rooms from doubles to triples, offering students a low-cost alternative and raising revenues. Surprisingly, those rooms were the first that sold out and they've caused zero student complaints, Steve says, a pleasant outcome Roosevelt didn't expect. (His hypothesis: The third person can be the negotiator in any roommate argument.)


On the amenities front, Roosevelt has put together a "wow" committee to make students say just that. Rather than one blockbuster feature, it's focused on 1,000 small, memorable touches "so nobody would ever want to leave," Steve says. And they don't have to be expensive. The building features a giant chess set for passing play, and the cafeteria chef (giving Whole Foods a run for its money) makes both freshly ground peanut butter and a flavor of the month, like cashew and honey. This summer the university plans to add another revenue booster and turn empty student rooms into convention housing. (You can't beat the view and college nostalgia.)