Student Housing Business

MAR-APR 2018

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

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COMPANY PROFILE March/April 2018 StudentHousingBusiness.com 118 pedestrian-to-campus, purpose-built student housing communities. These targeted markets are anchored by larger schools, where Pinecrest believes economic lulls would be less likely to affect enrollment growth. "We saw an opportunity to draw on the tal- ents and expertise of our people and our orga- nization," says Stephen Perlmutter. "We decid- ed that the best place for us in the industry was to create product through development." A typical hold period for the company is approximately five years. Stephen Perlmutter notes that a community typically needs at least a year or two to reach stabilization. "Since we've been in the business, there's been a transition from the 'build-it-and- they-will-come' mentality to a more realistic approach, which is that stabilization probably will not occur until the second year," adds Perlmutter, noting Pinecrest leverages good marketing and operations to drive rent growth and increase net operating income. Each Market's Different Needs The company completes detailed market analyses before determining where to build. Sites that are close to campus are prized. "Over the past five years, one of the things we've learned is there is no substitute for what I'd call 'ocean-front' property," Perlmutter says, adding that the company is also careful about curating its amenities to fit the market. At The Vista near Boise State for example, the company eschewed a pool in favor of hot tubs so students could enjoy this amenity throughout the school year. "When we were looking at the amenity pack- age for a market like Boise State University, we felt that it made much more sense to put in hot tubs that could be operated throughout the school year," Stephen Perlmutter says. "There was more utility to our student tenants by doing that instead of having a pool that was closed most of the year just so you can say on your marketing collateral that there was a pool." At The Bridge on Forbes, after learning that study space and group collaboration was a pri- ority for its student base, Pinecrest incorporat- ed collaborative maker spaces into the design. "It takes less of a cookie-cutter approach to building these communities and more of an in- depth analysis of the market," says Perlmutter. In addition to its experience, Pinecrest's inte- gration into student housing is also spurred along by youthful leadership. Stephen's son Tyler Perlmutter is director of investments and not far from the ages of college students and community assistants. "Being close in age, I've been able to talk to students about the type of amenities they want," says Tyler Perlmutter. "I've been able to connect with some of the community managers and students on a differ- ent level and really find out what's important to them." Stephen Perlmutter adds that each project comes with a period of discovery, through interviews and informal focus groups, to deter- mine where the university will be positioned in the future. "We try to understand the university beyond their plans for renovating housing," he says. "Maybe they are proponents of innovation cen- ters, for example. We try to understand where they're headed because after all we want to make sure there will be stability in the enroll- ment. We want to continue to build a portfo- lio that has outstanding projects at the right schools." SHB The Knox at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville opened in 2016 with 382 beds. The Knox was developed with equity from Pinecrest and is managed by Campus Advantage. Pinecrest is targeting strong-enrollment markets for its new-build products and harnessing relationships with experienced operators.

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