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A schematic of 101 York looking north. (Courtesy DMS Development LLC)

Private developers spicing up student housing

Student housing isn’t what it used to be.

While the furnishings may still involve a good deal of cinder blocks, milk crates and spent kegs, private developers are building projects for college students that are more like amenity-heavy, high-end apartments than dorms.

According to the Wall Street Journal, swimming pools, coffee shops and restaurants are becoming more and more prevalent in developments aimed at students.

The changes reflect a desire among students for services close at hand. “In addition to wanting to live close to campus, students also increasingly seek convenient access to restaurants, coffee shops and other retail stores,” said Brian Veith, assistant director of student housing for the National Multifamily Housing Council in Washington. “Developers are responding to student demand.”

The trend can be seen in a few developments in the planning stages or underway in the Baltimore area too. DMS Development intends to build the $75 million York 101 project in Towson with 233 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail (although the project suffered a slight setback recently.) The 379 luxury apartments being built as part of the $100 million redevelopment of the Rotunda will also be actively marketed to Johns Hopkins University. Even existing apartments that depend on being attractive to students are undergoing renovations to add features like a 96-inch projection screen, a lounge with a pool table and a rooftop pool.

So much for the character-building experience of living in a glorified broom closet with two other people fighting over who is taking up too much space in the minifridge.

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.