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Greystar Expands Into Bay Area Student Housing, Hires Mike McCone

Greystar will expand its Bay Area portfolio to include student housing. The developer hired Mike McCone as senior director of development for its Northern California division to help with this expansion in San Francisco and the East Bay, and already is seeking student housing deals throughout the Bay Area.

McCone, who has 12 years of experience as an architect and 20 years in real estate development, will oversee the growth of Greystar’s student housing and active adult housing portfolio in the Bay Area.

Greystar Senior Director of Development Mike McCone

“With the increase in student populations, we saw an opportunity to expand into this sector of multifamily,” Greystar Managing Director, Development for Northern California and Pacific Northwest Randy Ackerman said in an email.

Just about every major university and college in the San Francisco Bay Area is planning on- and off-campus housing to try to catch up with ongoing demand for student housing. Universities are partnering with developers to build thousands of beds throughout the Bay Area.

These partnerships and other student housing projects will be discussed during Bisnow’s Bay Area Student Housing Summit on Jan. 10. Greystar Senior Vice President, University Partnerships Jared Everett will be among the speakers.

Greystar plans to develop both on- and off-campus housing, Ackerman said. The focus will be to lay out each unit or bed in the most efficient manner to avoid wasting space, he said.

“Given construction costs in the Bay Area, efficiency in unit layout and design is very important,” Ackerman said.

While Greystar has a number of concepts in the works for its next-generation product, the developer has historically focused on internet service, bike storage and repair, a business center with individual workstations, package concierge, fitness and wellness centers and in-resident smart features such as Nest thermostats and keyless entry, Ackerman said.

“Beyond the amenities and services, it’s about fostering a sense of connection among the residents, offering community events like barbecues on a rooftop lounge, poolside movie nights or other group activities,” Ackerman said.

The developer is looking for new housing opportunities across the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest with the East Bay as one of its markets targeted during these efforts, McCone said. The developer also will remain mindful of ongoing challenges that it might face while pursuing this expansion.

“2019 could be a tough year for the industry as rising costs and interest rates make new development challenging despite the intense need for new communities,” McCone said.

McCone previously worked at Oyster Development Corp. for six years, where he led design and construction management. He also has worked at The Rosenberg Co., Catellus Urban Development Group, Trammell Crow, Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Hertzka & Knowles.

Learn more about student housing development at Bisnow’s Bay Area Student Housing Summit on Jan. 10.