May 28, 2014 | Week 22
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VerTex And Harrison Street Acquire
$24 Million FSU-Area Community

VerTex will rebrand The Boardwalk at Appleyard to University Trails and plans capital improvements to the property.
Tallahassee, Fla. - VerTex Student Housing Partners, a joint venture of Vermilion Development and Dallas-based TEXLA Housing Partners, has acquired a 234-unit, 936-bed student housing development at Florida State University. The acquisition marks the third transaction in a growing partnership with Chicago-based Harrison Street Real Estate Capital.


Harrison Street invested the majority of the equity on the $24 million acquisition, with investors affiliated with Vermilion Development and TEXLA Housing Partners providing the balance. VerTex Student Housing Management will act as property manager.


Known locally as The Boardwalk at Appleyard, the 936-bed student apartment community was originally constructed in 2004. It consists of 13 three-story residential buildings, a clubhouse and leasing office, and a maintenance/IT building. In addition to re-branding the property as University Trails Tallahassee, the partnership will implement operational and capital improvements to the property.  


Here's more. 

Wabash College Breaks Ground
on 136-Bed Complex

Wabash College
The men's college will welcome several new buildings as part of the $15 million plan.

Crawfordsville, Ind. - Construction is underway at the all-men's institution Wabash College for a new 136-bed student housing complex on the college's campus in Crawfordsville, Ind. The $15 million plan includes the construction of two 38-bed halls, two 16-bed lodges, and two duplex-style townhomes with 12 beds each. Shepley Bulfinch, a Boston-based architecture, planning and interior design firm, designed the six-building complex. Indianapolis-based Hagerman Group is the project's construction manager. Here's more.
Millennials' Hierarchy of Needs For Student Housing          
If you ever studied high school or college psychology you know about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Basic food, water and general human needs for survival tend to come before emotional needs. Yet in the above infographic, you'll see Wi-Fi has replaced 'basic' needs in this cohort. And many times this isn't just a joke. Especially during test, report or study time, the importance of Wi-Fi can supersede hunger.


Nearly 100 percent of Millennials - defined as those born between 1977 and 2000 - are online, according to a Harris survey. Unlike any generation before them, most have grown up with computers and digital devices serving as their major tool for communication. Of 18 to 24 year-olds, 43 percent say that texting is just as meaningful as an actual conversation with someone over the phone (eMarketer 2010). Thus, any living setting will be more attractive to Generation Y if they have easy and fast access to anything digital. With student apartment furniture, this means updated ports and outlets built into desks and beds, for starters. At FOB our built-in ports and outlets are one of the most appealing features of late - to both the students and those sourcing student housing furniture. Here's the rest of FOB Founder and President Brian Hunt's column. 

Pierce Education Properties Acquires 720-Bed Community Near University of Kansas         
Lawrence, Kan.
- Investment and management firm Pierce Education Properties (PEP) has purchased The Reserve on West 31st, a student housing community near the University of Kansas for $14 million. Debt financing of $7.3 million was provided by KeyBank. The Reserve on West 31st is a 720-bed, 192-unit community located southwest of campus. The property features three- and four-bedroom units with bed-bath parity. Units are furnished and interiors include faux hardwood floors, faux granite counter tops, and appliances including a washer and dryer. Property amenities include a resort pool with pergola and fireplace, fully equipped gym, computer lounge and study rooms, sand volleyball court, basketball court, and picnic-style areas equipped with grills.
The Global Reach: Attracting And Serving the International Student
Some of Woodlark's International Ambassadors.
Student housing providers have a promising market in international renters. According to the 2013 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by seven percent to a record high of 819,644 students in the 2012-2013 academic year. There are now 40 percent more international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities than there were a decade ago, and the rate of increase has risen steadily for the past three years, with most of the growth driven by students from China and Saudi Arabia studying in the United States.

With the numbers increasing, owners and operators must pay attention to the unique needs of international students in an effort to attract, serve and retain this important segment of the student population. The first step, says Dan Olsterdorf, senior vice president of Campus Advantage, is "to acknowledge that we don't know it all."


"We have students coming from literally hundreds of countries with different cultures, traditions and levels of comfort with the English language," he notes. "Just like any resident, our goal is to provide them with a level of service that meets them where they are, and gives them a great experience. With international students, that requires some additional work."


Click here for the remainder of Susan Fishman's look inside the work that goes into successful leadership at communities with many international students. 

Deadline Approaching To List Your Company In The Goldbook of Student Housing  

Goldbook Atlanta -
The staff of Student Housing Business is once again preparing to publish The Goldbook of Student Housing in the summer of 2014. As the directory for the student housing industry, The Goldbook is a source for companies who own, manage, and operate student housing, as well as vendor companies who provide services and products to the industry. List your company -- free of charge -- by completing a short form at:

The deadline for listings is May 31, 2014. 
Construction Payment And Performance Bonds: Myths and Realities
David Taylor
David Taylor

Scenario: A multi-family developer feels good about the fact that it required the contractor to put up payment and performance bonds on the project, even though the bond costs were rolled into the construction contract. If anything goes wrong, just like the friendly helpful State Farm agent who magically appears after a loss, the surety issuing the bonds will do the same, checkbook in hand...right? Bonds are widely misunderstood by most developers-at least by those who have not had to go through the hassle and expense of trying to get a surety to pay up. Click here for the rest of David Taylor's column.
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