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Student Housing: Time To Get Picky


With increasing amounts of capital entering the roaring student housing market, it's extra important to be selective with new acquisitions and development. We'll hear strategies from the experts, including Blue Vista Capital Partners SVP Walt Templin, at Bisnow's 2nd Annual Chicago Student Housing Summit on Dec. 19. There are interesting investment and development opportunities out there, but investors need to be diligent about fully underwriting not only the school and market, but also the potential for future supply, Walt says. Hungry buyers are even willing to look in markets that have significant pipelines of new developments, like Florida State University, but location and buying at the right basis are key.


Over the years, Blue Vista has acquired or developed over $1.3B in student housing, representing 52 assets on 38 campuses. Its local property, 477-bed Tailor Lofts at UIC (managed by an affiliate), has seen strong performance thanks to the city's limited student housing development pipeline and large student body in the Loop area, Walt says. Students continue to demand resort-caliber high-quality amenity packages, which include everything from giant swimming pools with lazy rivers to golf simulators in the clubhouse areas. (Though there's less room for these showstoppers when building in an urban setting.) Walt's expecting his first child and dreaming about what student housing will look like 18 years from now. (Robots use the golf simulator while you actually study, perhaps?)