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Campus Advantage recently teamed up with Shawn Lubic from Cushman and Wakefield to explore how our consulting team evaluates markets and uncover the benefits that a third-party Market Analysis and Feasibility study can provide developers. Shawn was intrigued with Campus Advantage’s various white papers filled with tips for student housing developers, specifically; the white papers Ten Steps to Prepare for Your Next Student Housing Development and Drive Leasing for a New Student Housing Development. He requested an interview with Campus Advantage’s Vice President of Business Development, Madison Meier, to better understand how the consulting team increases value for developers when investigating market feasibility.

The blog released by Cushman & Wakefield focuses on a recent study performed in Gainesville, Florida for Campus Advantage’s newest student housing development project serving the University of Florida. The project will feature 235 units/618 beds with a very robust amenity package, and it is scheduled to open in fall 2020. Campus Advantage’s consulting team performed a Market Analysis and Feasibility study on the project in early 2018 to assist the development team with determining rates, the unit mix, and the amenity package, as well as provide further refinement of the proforma. The study deemed the Gainesville market to be a feasible one that could support a highly amenitized, purpose-built development. Campus Advantage based this decision on the growing enrollment, continued rental rate growth, and strong historical occupancy trends.

The project will feature an expansive amenity package, including a fitness wing and mini market, designed to attract students ranging from undergraduates to medical students and young professionals. To determine what students were looking for in Gainesville, the consulting team performed multiple intercept surveys at various locations throughout campus to gather honest opinions from a variety of students. A focus group was also conducted to determine how the project could better attract students involved in Greek life and athletic programs. The amenities were tailored based on the students’ feedback and through the identification of gaps in other student housing development projects on the market.

To be released in four series, the first blog evaluates how Campus Advantage determined the Gainesville market to be a viable one for a new development by projecting supply/demand fundamentals, monitoring pre-leasing velocity and rates, and performing intercept surveys with undergraduates, graduates, and medical students. Learn how the unit mix was devised to appeal to all target student demographics, how amenities were selected, and which critical performance factors were incorporated into the proforma to drive returns for investors.