FL Student Housing Switches from For-Sale to Rental

University Developments is planning University Bridge Residences, a 20-story community that will serve students from Florida International University.

University-Bridge-ResidencesUniversity Developments is planning a 20-story student housing development, University Bridge Residences, which will be across from Florida International University. Previously, the developer was going to offer for-sale units at the property, but now will have the asset as a rental property.

University Bridge Residences is at 740 SW 109th Ave. in Sweetwater, which is in greater Miami-Dade. The property offers studios to four-bedroom units, along with three- and four-bedroom townhouses.

Common amenities include a landscaped recreational area with a resort-style pool with beach entry and pool volleyball with lap area, cabanas, sun deck with daybeds, barbecue and dining areas, a fitness room, and indoor lounge and game room. The building’s rooftop features a terrace with dining areas, yoga lawn and a performance stage.

Other amenities include shared study areas on each residential floor, a business center with conference rooms, and an outdoor video screen to project movies or sporting events. Florida International University has more than 55,000 students—making it one of the largest universities in the country—but only 8 percent of the student body lives in college-affiliated housing.

Market Fundamentals

According to University Developments, a strong rental market for student housing—combined with recent changes to the U.S. tax code—made the switch to rental a good idea.

“The property was always intended to be student housing,” Brian Pearl, principal of University Developments, told MHN. “The change is from a condominium sales model to a long-term hold rental model. The reduction of the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 21 percent at the end of 2017 leads to a more than a 20 percent increase in our annual net income after taxes. This extra value over time makes the decision to hold the asset much more compelling.”

University Developments has been processing building permits since the fourth quarter of 2017 and expects to be able to break ground this spring. Delivery of the building will be on its original schedule, in time for the 2020-21 academic year.