A Five-Star Town

Denver attracts young people for college and beyond.

LA_Mosher_Diana_90_100Like many of our readers, I kicked off my summer at the National Apartment Association’s 2014 Education Conference & Exposition in Denver. I had only visited Denver one other time and during that stay my hotel was right across the street from the convention center. So the most I saw of this great town was the 16th Street pedestrian mall. On this trip I discovered how walkable downtown Denver is. I booked late and wound up staying at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott which, according to the corporate website, is downtown Denver’s first LEED Gold certified hotel (that was an interesting experience in and of itself). I was still within walking distance of the Convention Center, but far enough away that I was able to see more of the city, and much of my exploration was done on foot. My hotel was adjacent to the Metropolitan State University of Denver Auraria Campus and I saw other college campuses woven into the urban fabric during my walking tours. If you’re building off-campus housing, it’s much easier to integrate students into a lively downtown scene than into a quiet small town setting. In the latter, student housing developers run the risk of having their work derailed by NIMBYism from the local community. This month’s Special Report (“Not in My Backyard”) by MHN Senior Editor Josh Ayers provides tips from some of the most successful student housing developers active in the multifamily industry today. When the topic of student housing comes up, comparisons are frequently made between the amenities and luxury of today’s stock vs. “what it used to be like.” In our August Development & Design feature (“Breaking Down Walls”), Senior Associate Editor Michael Ratliff reports on gender inclusive housing—another trend that’s changing how student housing is being built and operated. What changes are you seeing? Send me an email or share your insights with the MHN community on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

Diana Mosher, Editorial Director