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Student Housing Home Away From Home

Dallas-Fort Worth

Most students would like to create a home away from home when they go to school, but the most they can hope for is their own bathroom (and a place to hang their One Direction posters). Cottage products, which started in earnest about 10 years ago, are as rare to find as a Dez Bryant Mother's Day Card. With student housing projects making up more than one-third of their design volume, Humphreys & Partners Architects president Greg Faulkner tells us that cottage developments are probably less than 1% of all student housing projects nationwide. One reason: cottage housing requires much lower density similar to single-family homes. They usually have huge amenities like bigger pools and clubhouses with a park-like setting spread across 10 to 30 acres. Finding a location like this that is a short shuttle ride to a top 50 campus is difficult if not impossible, Greg tells us.


Cottage projects add to the variety of options for students and Fountain Residential prez Brent Little tells us he has one in the works, but can't release the deets yet. Still, most students prefer walkable projects across from campus, Greg says. Most projects are five- to six-stories above parking in a mixed-use environment. That's to help achieve the returns needed to pay for the primo land location. Probably 90% of Humphreys' projects are for urban high-density student housing, he says. Two recent projects include a 351-bed, five-story over podium design for Columbia Student Housing in Columbia, Mo., for Collegiate Housing Partners. That's got a 2015 delivery target. The second is a 900-bed project called The District on Apache in Tempe, Ariz., for Residential Housing Development. That one opened this year.