As the number of millennials entering college continues to rise throughout the country, so too does the demand for student housing, and the list of amenities off-campus properties must offer to compete for prospective tenants. As a result, Utah developers are investing millions of dollars to build high-end student housing developments that elevate the perception of the off-campus living environment as a whole.
In order to stay competitive, developers are using innovative outdoor amenities, such as rock-climbing walls, golf simulators, spas, and lazy rivers - to name just a few -, to meet the demand for amenity-rich living from this generation of students.
In this post, we examine how architects and developers can meet the expectations of and attract millennial students to their development projects.
This is the fourth article in an ongoing series exploring some of the most significant issues relative to student housing developments in Utah. Follow the links below for more valuable information on this topic:
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?
The amenity factor
Millennials do a lot of things differently, including how they live while getting an education. They expect comfort and luxury out of their student accommodations. For this reason, top-line student buildings have become a growing trend in college towns across the United States. These buildings, both on and off campus, boast amenities that far exceed the minimalistic and old-fashioned dorms universities were known for the past.
In just about every major city in the U.S., student housing developments are starting to almost resemble vacation destinations. Many of the buildings feature fancy swimming pools with cabanas, jacuzzis, game rooms, and fireplaces. Others have facilities to help students with their school work, including study corners and high-tech computer labs. Some have gourmet restaurants as tenants on the ground floor, while others feature chains like Subway. And even though such over-the-top amenities might demand higher rents, millennials are willing to pay extra for those upscale comforts.
As part of the trend to accommodate the social nature of millennial college students, developers are also converting formerly neglected square footage to amenity-rich shared living, and transforming a building’s entire roof into sky decks, dedicated to being an outdoor entertaining space complete with multiple seating areas, cabanas, fire pits, barbecues, and large projection walls to show movies at night.
Prepare to innovate for Gen Z
While the last millennials still have another 4 to 5 years in student housing, architects and developers shall begin to shift the focus to Generation Z, as the first group of these post-millennial students will be entering the student housing rental market within the next several years. And just as the student housing development industry came to understand the millennials’ needs and desires, it’s already time for them to start thinking about this next generation of tenants.
While it’s still premature to know exactly what their accommodation preferences are going to be, Generation Z student renters are likely to expect even more out of their accommodations than their predecessors, the millennials. It’s almost certain that they too will want more than just a place to lay their heads. They will also seek a place to study, play, and live.
Those developers who do not prepare ahead of time will find their properties less appealing to the next generation of student renters, and have difficulty competing in the student housing marketplace in the near future.