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This Morning's Student Housing Master Class

Chicago

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This Morning's Student Housing Master Class
The energy was high this morning at the W Chicago-City Center, where 325 joined us for Bisnow's Chicago Student Housing Summit.
 
This Morning's Student Housing Master Class
Janice Johnson and Anthony Frink expertly moderated panels that broke down Chicago student housing trends. Big draw: Top execs from Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, VOA Associates, Opus Development, the University of Illinois, among others. We'll have detailed coverage on Monday, but before the event even started, we hung out with one of our speakers. (Call it primitive Bisnow tailgating.)
 
Reznick (CohnDebut) MCHI
This Morning's Student Housing Master Class

A self-portrait of VOA’s Mike Siegel. He tells us student housing is the vehicle that universities need to help students stay connected with a school's sense of place, values, and beliefs: “Roosevelt University is a great example. Its Wabash expansion connects with the Auditorium Building Campus and the City of Chicago, and allows the university to sustain its mission. It connects the students with why the university exists, and the social justice foundation of a Roosevelt University education, allowing for a purpose-based education.”

 
Bisnow (PropManage)
This Morning's Student Housing Master Class
As for connectivity in a more literal sense, Mike adds, "It’s proven to me every day that students are incredibly connected. Even more impressive is that they’re agnostic in their devices and platforms; they can go anywhere and use most any device or software platform and get connected and get something done.” It’s a characteristic of modern students that designers need to keep in mind.
This Morning's Student Housing Master Class
Gerry Curciarello, co-owner of the Buckingham in the South Loop, a student housing property in downtown Chicago (below), recently oversaw the transition of the landmark property from a student housing facility with a master lease to Columbia College to one open to any students. He tells us the change has gone well, with the property 94% leased, occupied by students from Columbia, but also Kendall, Roosevelt, the School of the Art Institute, and DePaul. “We wanted a property more in line with standard student housing practices,” he says.
This Morning's Student Housing Master Class
The property, which dates from 1929 as an office building, was able to be redeveloped into apartment-style student housing in the mid-2000s; the demand for student housing in the Loop was more vibrant then. “Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of favorable winds for expanding student housing any more,” he tells us—applications are down, tuition is up, and jobs for graduates are scarce. Even nationally, he says, companies looking to expand into student housing need to be careful, since there are a number of markets overbuilt or on the verge of it.