Those of us who went to college might jump at the memories of dorms cramped in tight buildings with bare surroundings, and hardly any outdoor space to socialize. Those days are gone. With the ongoing boom in student housing development, a property must offer more than just an appealing location or architectural design in order to stand out.
The student housing boom has been described by many as an arms race where new developments continuously outdo one another. First, the focus was on in-unit amenities like granite countertops, spa-like bathrooms, and gourmet kitchen appliances. But then, these high-end in-unit amenities became common place, and the tides shifted toward communal areas.
This is the second installment in our ongoing series exploring some of the most significant issues relative to student housing development across Utah. The goal is to provide valuable insights that can guide architects and developers in creating upscale outdoor environments for students that will result in higher returns on investment (ROI). Follow the links below to read all the articles in the series.
Follow the shortcuts:
- How Amenities Have Changed the Game in Student Housing Development in Utah
- 5 Amenities that Will Take Your Student Housing Development from Dull to Brilliant
- How Can Developers Make Their Student Housing Projects More Competitive?
- Looking to Attract Millennials to Your Student Housing Development in Utah?
- Rooftop Amenities: A Must-Have in Today’s Student Housing Developments
- Developers: Your Student Housing Project Needs an Outdoor Amenity Specialist
- Student Housing Amenity Trends to Keep Occupancy Rates High in 2018 [and Beyond]
- Tips for Developers to Avoid Going Bust in Utah Student Housing Boom
- 10 Reasons Why a Landscape Architect Is a MUST for Student Housing Developments
- What Are Architects Missing in the Design of Student Housing Projects?
Outdoor amenities that drive student engagement
As mentioned above, luxury is becoming less the exception and more the rule for student housing developments, as students now seem to demand more resort-style features in their housing, from lazy rivers and infinity-edge pools, to poolside cabanas and hammock gardens. The list is really limitless.
Since having an ordinary fitness center or pool is no longer enough, developers are now enhancing their amenity deck with out-of-this-world features. And there seems to be no end in sight when it comes to the outdoor amenities they are willing to add to raise the standards on student living.
In this article, we describe five state-of-the-art outdoor amenities that developers are embracing in order to get a leg up on the student housing competition.
1. Elaborate fitness facilities
One amenity that has undergone significant transformation in recent years is the fitness center. No longer just a place to exercise, the fitness center has also become a place for students to gather and socialize. Classes for yoga, aerobics, cardio, strength training, and wellness in general are very much in vogue.
The newest thing is offering instant workout classes via digital workouts. Outdoor fitness studios can come equipped with projection screens or large televisions where students can pick workouts on demand with ranges of options from Pilates to kickboxing.
The Cottages of College Station in Texas is a great example of an elaborate fitness facility. It includes a gym and yoga room, steam-room, sauna, tennis court, sand volleyball court, and more!
2. High-level rooftop amenities
Some student housing residences are expanding and enhancing rooftop amenities in order to draw prospective student and leave a lasting impression on residents. These enhancements include aesthetically appealing social lounges, coffee bars, grilling areas, and similar spaces that foster community interaction, and allow students to lounge around and soak up the sun or the stars, whatever the case may be.
Take Sol y Luna, a luxury student apartment building in Arizona, as an example. It boasts two stunning roof decks that feature glittering pools, an outdoor projection system, and areas reserved for yoga. When residents are done enjoying the amazing panoramic views, the building has multiple steam rooms, tanning beds, and two fully equipped fitness centers.
3. Outdoor dining & kitchen venues
Dining outdoors has become highly popular for today’s students. And they like to cook their own meals with friends and neighbors. So, in order to provide that type of desired amenity, developers are offering stunning patio areas as additional dining spaces. Others have placed BQ grills around fire pits and fireplaces, or extended seating from a bistro or café to an outdoor space. Outdoor kitchens can also be combined with other design elements that help to improve their usability throughout the year.
Offering a variety of upscale dining and cooking venues on the upper level of a student housing development creates a differentiator in the marketplace, as these amenities can leverage views while at the same time act as a beacon to the larger community about the lifestyle found within.
4. Sports & recreation on steroids
It is simply mind blowing what some of the most luxurious student housing communities in North America are offering in this realm. Tavern-style game rooms, air hockey, darts, and video gaming stations -you name it! Outdoor perks at some of these high-end developments also include sand volleyball and full basketball court, and of course, a resort style pool. In some of these properties, residents even enjoy an on-site golf simulator, as well as a ski and snowboard simulator. Now, that’s recreation on steroids!
5. The evergreen swimming pool and hot tub
Some amenities are evergreen, and swimming pools and hub tubs are definitely among them. I mean, what better way to decompress from classes than cooling off and working on your tan in the summer, or taking laps in an indoor heated pool in the winter.
Upscale student housing throughout the U.S. are offering more than just lounge chairs around a pool and or the hot tub area. These developments give college students the chance to take a dip while enjoying some awesome features, poolside. They include resort-style sundecks, cabanas, sand volleyball courts, and even a private beach between a sparkling pool and lazy river.
Developers see a long runway ahead in upscale student housing. As with most decisions, however, the most important line when choosing amenities is the bottom one; no matter how exciting a new amenity might seem, its attraction to potential and current tenants must be balanced, both for now and the future.
Student housing developers throughout Utah and beyond can increase their chances for success by partnering with an experienced landscape architecture firm early on, gaining from their expertise and resources on what will work to stay on top of the lifestyle trends students seek to truly enjoy during their years at college.