Luxury Student Housing GrandMarc Under Construction

Are luxury buildings a new trend for student housing? Phoenix Property Company is banking on it, with its new student housing community, GrandMarc, in Austin, Texas.

Austin, Texas—Are luxury buildings a new trend for student housing? Phoenix Property Company is banking on it, with its new student housing community, GrandMarc, in Austin, Texas.

“Parents want the very best for their students, and the students are accustomed to a high standard of living,” Jason Runnels, executive vice president, Phoenix Property Company, tells MHN. “These desires and expectations must be met, and today’s student housing developers and operators are answering the call. Austin’s West Campus is home to some of the most exclusive and well-designed purpose built student housing in the nation. Students and parents have the opportunity to choose a high level of customer services coupled with the most convenient location and exceptional amenities when they choose to live at GrandMarc.”

The apartment community, which will be available for occupancy in August 2012, is located one block from the University of Texas. It will feature 138 units with studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units.

GrandMarc will offer many upscale amenities. Suites will include washers and dryers, stainless steel appliances and 46-inch flat screen TVs in the living rooms. Many rooms will have designer furniture, and select suites will offer walk-in closets and balconies.

So how will GrandMarc attract its residents? One of its strategies is to go through the parents.

“Parental marketing should comprise approximately 25 percent of total the total effort on an annual basis. However this percentage is critical as it can carry as much decision making weight as the other 75 percent,” Runnels says. “It is a much more difficult demographic to reach as they are much more inaccessible as compared to the student, so successful efforts require very specific and targeted campaigns. Marketing to parents of new residents begins a year in advance during admission trips, orientations, parent’s weekends and college days. Partnering with the University as well as local hotels, restaurants and retailers have proven to be effective modes of outreach. The message during these marketing efforts must be impactful enough to create a sense of urgency in the midst of what is a life changing event for both the students and parents—the first time living away from home and/or in off campus housing. When marketing to parents, two topics consistently top their list: safety/reputation and price.”

Additionally, all residents will have access to a resort-style pool and spa, tanning bed, fitness studio, parking garage, a media room, a game room and retail on the ground level. There are also several green elements to GrandMarc.

“We are building under the Austin Energy Green Building Program one of the first “Green Building” programs in the country designed for multifamily development,” Runnels says. “AEGB incorporates national LEEDS standards into its criteria. Additionally, we will be part of Austin’s S.M.A.R.T. Housing policy initiative (safe, mixed-income, accessible, reasonably-priced, transit-oriented).”

GrandMarc was designed by the Wilder Architects of Dallas. The general contractor is C.D. Henderson Construction.