Top 5 Student Housing Communities in Greater Boston
One of the world's best-known academic hubs, Boston continues to benefit from top-ranked universities. However, the city's affordability issues are pushing students out of core submarkets to the outskirts of the MSA.
By Evelina Croitoru
Boston’s world-renowned universities and colleges provide the region with considerable cultural resources, a healthy economic climate and talented workforce. The more than 150,000 students currently enrolled in Boston-based undergraduate and graduate programs mirror the growing demand for off-campus housing. The metro is home to both public and private colleges, including top-ranked universities such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of New Hampshire. Due to the high acceptance rate and cheap tuition, UNH alone registers more than 15,300 students, most of which are located in the university’s Durham campus. Using Yardi Matrix’s Advanced Property Search feature, we have compiled a top five list of the largest student housing communities in Greater Boston. The properties are scattered across the entire MSA in both core and fringe submarkets.
- Harvard at Trilogy
Located at 170 Brookline Ave. in Boston, the 171-unit community built by Harvard Real Estate Services in 2006 is strategically situated within walking distance from Harvard Medicinal School, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, in the convenient Longwood Medical Area. The property offers studios and one- and two-bedroom units averaging 662 square feet. Amenities include a fitness center, a community room, laundry facilities and controlled access. Average rents equate to $2,363 per month.
- The Lodges at West Edge
The 142-unit student community located at 259 Mast Road in Durham, N.H., serves the University of New Hampshire. Blue Vista Capital Group is the owner of the property that was completed in 2015 and Peak Campus has assumed management for the community. The garden-style asset features two- and four-bedroom fully-furnished apartments averaging 1,237 square feet and cottage-style homes with bed-to-bath parity. Property amenities include a full-size washer and dryer, granite countertops and walk-in closets. The 460-bed community also offers a multi-purpose clubhouse, a fitness center, indoor/outdoor hot tub, pool with sauna, fireplace, 24-hour computer lab and UNH shuttle service. Average monthly rents rest at $3,184.
3. The Cottages of Durham
Built in 2012 in Durham, N.H., at 100 Clubhouse St., The Cottages of Durham is a 141-unit student community offering UNH’s students high-end features and amenities such as a fitness center, a clubhouse, a swimming pool with spa and a business center. The property also offers a total of 300 parking stalls. Property’s unit mix consists of two- to four-bedroom floor plans averaging 1,620 square feet. The 619-bed community that serves the University of New Hampshire is owned by Capstone Cos. and managed by American Campus Communities. The monthly average rent is $3,490.
- Madbury Commons
Also situated in Durham, N.H., at 17 Madbury Road, the community featuring 126 units is steps away from the University of New Hampshire. The community that can accommodate up to 530 students is the only student community within walking distance from UNH that offers air conditioning, in-unit washer/dryer and private bedrooms. Barret Bilotta owns the community that is managed by Golden Goose Properties. Property’s mix consists of three- to six-bedroom floor plans averaging 973 square feet. The amenity package includes a business center, a clubhouse, stand-alone rental office and controlled access. Monthly rents sit at $3,918.
- University Edge
The smallest of this series, University Edge is an off campus community also located in Durham, at 23 Main St. Owned by Orion Student Housing and managed by Asset Campus Housing, the property offers one-, three- and four-bedroom floor plans averaging at 1,267 square feet. Amenities include a business center, a clubhouse and stand-alone rental office. The community is situated within walking distance from downtown Durham and UNH. Average rents equate to $3,159.
The Future of Boston’s Student Housing
Acknowledging the enormous strain placed on the metro by the growing number of enrollments, Boston’s Mayor Walsh outlined several strategic goals that are meant to alleviate the housing issues for students. In this way, he plans to create 18,500 new student dormitory beds, of which 16,000 for undergraduates and 2,500 for graduates. Other notable development projects underway include:
- Gabriel’s Monastery Redevelopment, a 680-unit planned student community developed by Cabot, Cabot & Forbesat at 159 Washington St. in Brighton, Mass. The developers intend to start construction this summer and complete the asset within two years.
- 1047 Commonwealth Avenue is a 220-unit student community currently under construction in Boston. Property developer Michaels Development plans to complete the asset by the end of June.
- Edge Merrimack River will feature 156 units at 1 Merrimack St. in Lowell, Mass. Vision Properties is developing the community that is expected to come online by the end of September.
Images courtesy of Yardi Matrix