Student Housing Amenities Arm Race
Student housing amenities are escalating, but the best perk will ultimately be proximity to the school, we learned at Bisnow's recent Chicago Student Housing Summit. CA Ventures COO John Dempsey says the company's subsidiary, CA Student Living, looks for locations near Main Street, the library, or the football field. (Can they put the library near the football field, or would the irony be too strong?) Amenity planning is down to a science—one of his operations guys perfected a math algorithm for how many chairs should go on a pool deck. Social media has also changed the game. "You need to keep up, because the minute you touch something, the word's out," he says.
Blue Vista Capital Partners SVP Walt Templin has seen students and parents wanting more private space, amenities, and security. Where an Internet speed of 5MB/student was low but acceptable five years ago, we're now at 100MB and a property at the University of Texas is even trying 1GB/student. (Videos of students pranking their roommates come at a price.) Once the water was off at one of Blue Vista's properties for a number of hours and nobody complained, but when the Internet went down for five minutes, the phones rang off the hook.