Houston–This is not your grandfather’s student housing. Sterling University Housing has announced that it will complete development of three new upscale off-campus student apartment properties in 2011, two of which are being designed to obtain LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“We’ve been in the multifamily business for a long time and every year, students set the bar a little higher than the year before so we’re trying to build more attractive apartment communities,” Brian Dinerstein, a partner with Sterling, tells MHN. “They’re used to a certain lifestyle at home.”
In Greensboro, N.C., Sterling will erect Sterling Cottages at West End near the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The property will not offer the traditional dormitory-style apartment; it will feature two-story townhomes and cottages. The Cottages will occupy a site that is also easily accessible to students from the nearby Guilford, Strayer, Greensboro and Elon schools.
In the Sunshine Sate, Sterling will construct the second phase of the apartment project at Sterling University Central near the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Development of Phase II will add 744 beds to the 763 beds that reached completion in summer 2010. Both the Cottages and the University Central apartment projects will be eco-friendly residential destinations that will qualify for LEED Silver certification.
“We’re one of the biggest developers of LEED-certified for-rent properties in the country,” Dinerstein says. “Our company embraces green development, and for us the trend really started on the student side but then it extended to all of our urban infill apartments. Students are very progressive thinking and environmentally focused. All things being equal, they’re going to chose our property every time over a non-sustainable property. They want something that contributes to the environmental movement. We believe that LEED certification is an absolute edge in marketing and branding.”
Sterling will also open an off-campus student apartment community, Sterling Crimson, at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. All three developments will offer the coveted amenities that come standard with most luxury multifamily properties, including resort-style swimming pools and spas, state-of-the-art fitness facilities and entertainment centers. And while Crimson may not be as green as the other two projects, it will offer some color; a free tanning dome will be part of its long list of amenities.
The Cottages, University Central Phase II and Crimson are presently available for pre-leasing for occupancy in fall 2011.