DALLAS—In preparation for the upcoming RealShare Student Housing conference in LasVegas on June 4th-5th, Greg Faulkner,locally based president of Humphreys & PartnersArchitects LP, talked about a few key trends his firm isseeing in the student housing space.

|

As moderator of the RealShare design, development andconstruction trends panel, he tells GlobeSt.com that one thing hehas seen a lot of lately are what he deems “amenities onsteroids.”

|

According to Faulkner, “these are resorts versus housing,” fullyequipped with rooftop bars, seating, pools with lazy rivers, cybercafes and social areas, concierge services, poolside yogurt serviceand more. “There are not apartments or dorms, think HyattRegency.”

|

He explains that market rate developers really need to look atwhat student housing has become the last 10 years because these aretheir next renters.

|

He also GlobeSt.com that 75% of what his firm has been doing forthe last five years on off campus student housing isfour-to-five-story wood frame, generally with five or six storyabout grade parking garage. On small sites, he says, “we may have to do four-story with two levels of underground parking—doublecosts of above grade precast garage. “These are 200-beds plus peracre typically, three acres, 600 beds—sometimes 700 beds dependingon unit mix and total square foot average.

|

Things are changing, Faulkner explains. “We have five high-risestudent deals we are working on now…one under construction in AnnArbor, where rents may be $1200 per bed there.” High rise coststhat are $200 a foot plus will work with those types of rents, hesays. “Typically it ranges $600 to $800 in a lot of markets so weneed to stay in wood frame for to lower hard costs to where thingswork on yield--$130 to $150 a foot generally, but varies widelydepending on locale. We also have a few steelframe seven-story buildings now that get more density but staybelow high-rise code….steel costs and lumber have never had thissmall a gap on pricing in 20 years.”

|

One issue everywhere is hard costs. “There is a big laborshortage on framers and skilled labor almost everywhere … prices upanother 15% to 20% since last Fall.”

|

When asked about other kinds of projects, he notes that thereare very few cottage projects and garden-style projects.

|

“Student housing has been recession resilient,” he tellsGlobeSt.com. “And institutions want to own and lenders want tofinance.”

|

He notes that “we still have 3 million high school graduates forthe next few years versus 2 million, and 70% go to college—hugedemographic push until 2017 or 2018 when it peaks. It's still 35%of our work—we did 20,000 market rate units last year and 7000student beds—so projects are getting done, financed and built… but nothing is easy.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.