Student Housing Amenities Get a New Focus

Gen Z students are serious about their studies. Here’s how student housing developers are changing up their amenities to reflect this.

Jessica Fiur

I’ve been at Multi-Housing News for more than 10 years. During that time, we’ve written about many cool student housing amenities. Some seemed like they belonged in a nice resort. There were tanning beds! Peloton studios! Lazy rivers!

OK, I’ll admit it: I was jealous. When I was in college (which wasn’t that long ago, I’ll have you know!), I was thrilled to have a laundry room in the building and to be within walking distance of the TGI Friday’s. It was practical. We had what we needed, but that was pretty much it.

But, like wide-leg jeans and middle parts, practicality in student housing amenities is in style again.

Of course, they’re not the bare-bones amenities of the past. But today’s students seem to be more serious-minded than Millennials were—no doubt influenced by the Great Recession and, of course, COVID-19. Luxury is no longer the focus, and the amenities arms race of years past appears to have cooled down.

What’s in demand now for student housing? Generally speaking, preferences include:

Wellness, which has also become a major trend in multifamily properties. On a related note, community fitness centers are also key, even if the property is near a local gym. According to a recent J Turner Research survey, students are particularly looking for outdoor gathering spaces and upgraded gym equipment.

“Most students want to go downstairs on their own time to get in a quick workout,” Adam Byrley, COO of The Preiss Co., told Mark Faris for his article “The Student Housing Amenities Most In Demand.”

Students also want high-speed internet. Building-wide Wi-Fi. The ability to print documents easily.

And perhaps the most surprising: places to study.

“(Students) like to party, but they want to party somewhere else,” Elliot Tamir, Vesper co-founder & co-CEO, told Faris.

Going to school and taking studying seriously? Now that’s a novel idea!

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