New campus apartments size up to competition
August 29, 2017
An increase in student enrollment creates the need for more student housing. This summer, several new apartment housing options popped up around the C-U area. From new properties to upgraded amenities, each housing option has an increased level of competition. Some companies have even added new amenities to old buildings to keep up with the newer apartment complexes going up around campus. Below is a breakdown of some of the new apartment complexes in C-U and how they are sizing up to competition.
212 E. Green St. — First Column
212 East is First Column Student Living’s newest campus property and sits on the corner of Green and Third streets. According to its website, amenities include: a fitness facility, private and group study rooms, a courtyard in the center of the property equipped with a fire pit, hammocks and grills.
Samuel Mtunga, principal of XFD Real Estate Partners, said upgrading amenities revolves around pricing one’s property appropriately.
“I wouldn’t say that students are now gravitating toward specific features,” Mtunga said. “Instead, what we see is that students are becoming more savvy shoppers and understand how to assess a property’s value proposition better than ever.”
The co-founder said each amenity should add value to a resident’s experience. Mtunga said upgrades are inevitable if older properties truly want to compete with newer housing.
Managing nearly 1,500 apartments, JSM Development spent this summer upgrading its properties to meet the demands of today’s residents.
Green Street Towers is JSM’s first property to have 65 inch TVs in every unit, which were installed over the summer. Gregory Place East received new courtyard furniture and Illini Manor was updated with new sundeck furniture as well as a new pergola.
Scott Clanin, marketing manager for JSM, said student housing has changed dramatically over the years and it is important to keep up on trends.
“What was once an ‘upgraded’ amenity five years ago is now standard,” Clanin said. “The new incoming generation, Gen Z, is looking for different lifestyle preferences than previous generations.”
JSM also recently announced its newest addition — a JSM fitness center. JSM gave a live tour on its Facebook page showing plans for a variety of equipment, changing rooms and lockers.
Clanin said JSM bases its upgrades on resident feedback through surveys, focus groups and even gathers information from different apartment showings.
“Instead of focusing on what other housing options offer, we turn our attention to our customers and listen to what they would like to see,” Clanin said.
The new fitness center is located in the previous T.I.S. College Bookstore location at 707 S. Sixth St. This feature is available to all JSM residents at no additional cost.
The Suites at Third
American Campus Communities added a new property for fall semester: the Suites at Third.
The Suites at Third are located on the corner of John and Third streets, and conveniently neighbors The Red Lion. Suites at Third provide residents with an open-air courtyard and TV lounge with a billiards room. To boost the competition, the Suites at Third has an iMac bar for studying.
According to its website, residents will also have access to newly upgraded amenities at the Tower at Third. The amenities offered at the Tower at Third include a fitness center, academic success center with free printing, and recreation centers with gaming systems and ping-pong all across the street.