For many colleges, the days of cramming four freshmen in one dorm room with a communal bathroom down the hall are gone, as campus housing is stepping up to meet the changing demands of the next generation of college students. But since not every college can splurge on luxury living for its incoming freshman class, a handful of companies are stepping in to meet that gap with luxury off-campus housing, where the residences look like something out of Dwell magazine. The list of amenities can be drool-inducing for even parents, as the apartments come with rooftop pools, volleyball courts, spas and the requisite granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.
Marc Lifshin, a managing partner at Core Spaces, which develops and runs luxury student housing across the U.S., says that that the type of amenities students are looking for changes every year and vary by market, as well as climate. “Some of our properties have volley ball courts and rooftop infinity pools while in other places, walk-in closets are a huge bonus.” But while this may sound like Club Med rather than college, the buildings are also geared towards studying with private study rooms and dedicated quiet floors.
Lifshin says that the high-end design appeals to students and their parents, who are often footing the bill. “Parents love what they see when they walk in,” he says.
Core Spaces apartments come fully furnished with sleek and modern designs. At the soon to open Hub On Campus Madison in Wisconsin, the property will have a volleyball court, jumbotron, a spa and tanning room. Rates will start at $500 a bed but for students looking to live large, the most luxurious option is The Sapphire 26 VIP, a 3-bedroom, 3-bath unit that rents for $4,760 a month. Students living here will have private access to the VIP-only 12th floor, a private in-unit hot tub, and a wrap-around balcony overlooking State Street and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Other bonuses include a 55” Samsung Smart TV with a built-in Klipsch speakers, an Altir body spray shower column, a glass-front mini-fridge at the dry bar area, as well as a side-by-side washer and dryer.
And since these are being rented to students, does Lifshin worry about the residences getting trashed?
“You have to be very careful with the kind of fabric that you choose,” he says.
Here's a look at some of the companies that have gotten into the business of pampering college students across the U.S.
Gourmet coffee bars, resort-style pools and outdoor theaters are some of the perks students living in Campus Advantage properties can enjoy. At West 22 in Kennesaw, Ga., student housing is organized as cottages, manor houses or luxury flats. Students looking to unwind after cranking out that term paper can choose from an outdoor gourmet grilling kitchen, a hammock grove, or a fire pit. The 4050 Lofts in Tampa have bright pops of color and a sleek design. When not studying in the 24-hour tech zone, students can hit the tanning room or a gaming area equipped with a Nintendo Wii and a pool table.
Students looking to live it up off campus should consider Aspen Heights, which has 13 locations in the U.S., including Fort Collins, C.O.; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Charlotte, N.C. The firm has also broken ground on properties in Lincoln, Neb. and Springfield, M.O. Many of the housing options are cottages built around a community, giving them the feeling of a small village. Students can enjoy perks such as private bedrooms and guest bathrooms, as well as spin and yoga classes. Amenities include a clubhouse, 24-hour gym facilities and resort style swimming pools.
Core Spaces launched in 2010, and develops and manages upscale luxury student housing throughout the US. There are Core Spaces properties in Oxford, Miss., Tucson, Ariz., and Columbia, S.C. Projects in the pipeline include Eugene, Ore., and Madison, Wisc. Apartments at the Madison property will have stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops and walk-in closets. While every property is different, students can enjoy amenities like tanning salons, spas, pools and golf simulators, as well as outdoor volleyball courts. Keeping student’s GPAs in mind, properties also offer private study rooms and quiet floors.
Launched in 2004, this Athens, G.A. firm is one of the biggest players in luxury student off-campus housing, with properties all over the US. Every residence is different but students living in a Landmark Properties rental can live the good life with PGA quality golf simulators, roof-top infinity edge swimming pools, resident-only salons. There are also indoor basketball and racquetball courts.
Asset Campus Housing
Asset Campus Housing manages about 70,000 beds across 38 states, and the luxury amenities available are what you’d expect from a top resort, including outdoor pools, creative landscaping and firepits. The Stadium Village Flats near the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis offers free tanning, a yoga studio, and theatre room. The Miami Preserve in Oxford, Ohio has a 6,000-sq. foot clubhouse, pool table, and outdoor picnic pavilion with fireplace.