Student Housing Business

SEP-OCT 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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FITNESS EQUIPMENT September/October 2018 StudentHousingBusiness.com 74 Fitness First Providing a state-of-the-art fitness center might be just what it takes to convert leads into leases. By Katie Sloan I In the industry today, one would be hard pressed to find a com- munity under development that does not list a state-of-the-art fitness center among its shared amenities. Gone are the multi- family gyms of yore, where you might find a few pieces of cardio equipment and a weight rack. In their stead are fitness spaces that include everything from yoga and meditation rooms offering classes on-demand to outdoor workout spaces and climbing walls. Today's students expect more, and offering a unique gym experience might be just the push it takes to convert leads into leas- es at your property. "With the 'amenity race' hap- pening in the student housing industry, gym space can be used to set your property apart from the competition," says Nikki Thompson, a regional manager at Homestead U. "In an effort to create the 'wow' factor on prop- erty tours, we push the designers to maximize the use of space to showcase the variety of machines. We also have gyms facing the pool or a green space to increase visual stimulation. Since physi- cal health is a major concern for the demographic we are attempt- ing to attract, having an awesome gym will add another piece to the leasing puzzle." There are a number of tips and tricks for making your gym space stand out amongst the competi- tion — one crucial component is creating an inviting environment. "A fitness center remains one of the top three amenity spaces in student housing," says Mark Winkelmann, director of portfo- lio integration at Peak Campus. "One of the trends we are seeing in new student housing devel- opments is large, open space. The fitness center should not feel claustrophobic and should leave enough room so that you are not packing every inch of the space with machines." "Attention to lighting is also important," continues Winkel- mann. "Lighting influences the mood within the space. The stu- dents need to see well in order to safely use the equipment." Minimalist designs and high- ly functional and flexible spaces attract today's students. "The current generation is knowledge- Homestead U pushes designers to maximize space in its gyms to showcase the variety of machines available. Seen above is Helix, a student housing community serving students at Mississippi State University in Starkville. " Since physical health is a major concern for the demographic we are attempting to attract, having an awesome gym will add another piece to the leasing puzzle. — Nikki Thompson, Regional Manager at Homestead U

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