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Bisnow SoCal Student Housing Event Highlights: What’s the Current State of the Market?

Principal and Higher Education Practice Leader Sean Rosebrugh  AIA, LEED BD+C, recently joined fellow industry leaders as a panelist at Bisnow’s SoCal Student Housing & University Development Event. At the Los Angeles event, nearly 200 people gathered for a robust conversation about the Southern California’s student housing market’s development opportunities and challenges. Sean and fellow panelists discussed hot topics including land deals, financing, design, construction, and operations — and how they contribute to student success. Key themes from the day’s discussions include:

Student Housing & University Development: State of the Market

Despite a saturated market, there is a definite need for more housing in the near future. Enrollment is up around the nation to drive demand for students, as well as faculty and staff housing.

What are some innovative ways to accomplish this? As an interesting addition to the topic, the group explored the role that prefabrication could play in the construction of student housing by saving time and money. However, the conclusion was that prefabrication hasn’t yet found its consistent home in the market.

In-Demand Amenities: Affordability & a Holistic Student Experience

The industry is always looking for ways to make housing more affordable while also contributing to a positive, well-rounded student experience. Universities can provide a well-rounded campus experience through careful planning – looking beyond residence halls as merely a place to sleep, but as a living-learning community in which to engage and become committed to the values of the institution through peer-to-peer and faculty/student interaction.

Drawing from our experience as partners to institutions across the country, our Steinberg design team continually works to create innovative housing models for a variety of student types, ranging from freshman living to graduate and family housing, that foster a holistic student experience through a balance of academic immersion, social development, health + wellness, and community engagement.

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, the concluding question posed was: How does the campus of the future impact the physical space of a campus, via online or on-the-ground experiences? Owners, investors, developers, and design teams are working together to ultimately improve student experiences and living-learning environments, contributing to improved four-year graduation rates.


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