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Probably cold kegs and pizza. But what CRE folks want, we hear, is to learn the hottest trends at Bisnow’s Philadelphia Student Housing & Higher Education Summit this Tuesday at the Union League Club. (Sign up here!) Among our featured speakers: Fletcher Thompson principal Patrick Curley, who leads the architectural and engineering firm’s college and university practice group.
Fletcher Thompson principal Patrick Curley
Because of changing demographics (fewer college students in the pipeline), campuses will be competing more for students, particularly smaller and community colleges, as well as those with a heavy commuting population. They need to attract "more students from outside the area, state, and country, who pay a higher rate, yet use the same amount of resources,” Patrick says. But you can’t house them in 1960s-era buildings—students have cultural, dietary, and social wants that need to be met and these dorms can’t offer.

Rutgers Student Housing
The firm is working on a 700-bed building for the New York Institute of Technology on Long Island, the campus’ first dorm. It'll include features that allow the residential and commuting population to interact: lounges, dining facilities, and quiet/study spaces. At Rutgers, it’s opening a 1,500-bed dorm (above) in two weeks. It’s not near the downtown, Patrick says, so it’s amenity heavy: three restaurants, a green grocer, movie theater, beauty salon, frozen yogurt store, and wireless communication store will join the student housing "so it's not a ghost town on weekends," he says. (Unless the theater is screening Ghost Dad, in which case, all bets are off.)
Campus Apartments CEO David Adelman
Students want their housing to feel more like home, says Campus Apartments CEO David Adelman, who’s also speaking at our event—that means bed-bath parity (private bathrooms) and more common space. The firm is building a $32.4M, 413-room, on-campus building at St. Joseph’s University, which highlights another big trend: universities, which lack the staff and focus to design and develop buildings, are more frequently outsourcing their real estate needs. It’s not only development, but facilities, property management, and leasing. Campus Apartments manages 75 off-campus buildings for UPenn and recently opened a 136-key, extended-stay hotel near the university.