Student Housing Business

MAR-APR 2018

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

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MARKET PROFILE: ATLANTA March/April 2018 97 The Standard, and is expected to deliver in August 2020. Given the community's proximity to Mid- town's job pool, Rogers says it will attract more than just students. "There is a lot of demand to live in Midtown, not only from Geor- gia Tech students, but from young professionals," he says. "There are a lot of new, high-paying jobs that are being created in the area, and there will be a lot of young profes- sionals who want to live close by." In West Midtown, a third stu- dent housing development near Georgia Tech is rising on North Avenue Northwest. Atlanta-based Peak Campus and investment partner Blue Vista Capital Man- agement broke ground in January on Theory West Midtown, a 525- bed community. The property is located directly across the street from the Georgia Tech campus and the PATH Park- way — a new walking and biking facility connecting the school to surrounding attractions in Mid- town and Downtown Atlanta. "The proximity to surround- ing destinations at our location is exceptional," says Jeff Githens, president of development at Peak Campus. "There's a pedestrian and bicycle path right down the hill from us that can take you all the way from campus to Centen- nial Olympic Park. Having that as a neighboring feature is a great amenity for our residents." Additional amenities at The- ory West Midtown will include a resort-style pool, fitness cen- ter, rooftop amenity area, study/ conference areas and a package system. "Given the caliber of Georgia Tech, we've got a fairly significant amount of study and conference areas within the building," says Githens. "Catering to increasing e-commerce, we're also provid- ing automated package locker systems." The project will also contain 10,500 square feet of ground-level retail space on Marietta Street. "We're really an extension of West Midtown," says Githens. "With that, and our proximity to Georgia Tech, we feel there is going to be a lot of retail interest in this location." Downtown Living Near GSU Like Georgia Tech in Midtown, student housing developers are attracted to the opportunities in and around GSU. Casaday of South City Partners says the uni- versity has the capacity to house roughly 15 percent of its current student body in university-owned housing, which is a typical figure for schools in urban locations, but it is still a low percentage. Increasing demand and a resur- gent downtown are helping pro- pel the new projects coming near campus. "There is a great deal of positive energy surrounding the univer- sity, and downtown in general," says Casaday. "GSU's leadership has been very strategic in growing the school and working to further delineate the campus in the down- town area." About a half-mile from GSU's main campus, South City Partners is under construction on 120 Pied- mont, a 26-story high-rise student housing tower. "Our project is as on-campus as an off-campus student housing building can be, as we're directly across the street from approxi- mately 60 percent of GSU's uni- versity-owned housing supply," says Casaday. In 2015, South City Partners delivered a similar student hous- ing project in Midtown at Tech Square dubbed Square on Fifth (SQ5). Casaday believes SQ5 has helped with both the developer's familiarity with the product type and with marketing 120 Piedmont. "When we sat down with the leadership at GSU, we were able to point to SQ5 and use that as an illustration of the product type we were envisioning and planned to deliver with 120 Piedmont," says Casaday. "We also toured SQ5 with a couple of the GSU student newspaper writers, and they were blown away with the quality level of the project, and that they'd be able to experience the same thing on their campus." Set to open in time for the fall 2019 semester, 120 Piedmont will include a rooftop deck with an outdoor living room, grilling area and study space, as well as the latest security measures like a 24/7 card-key access system. Other planned amenities include a swimming pool, clubhouse, fitness center, on-site library and an inter- net café. Casaday says each unit will be fully furnished and have bed-to-bath parity as well. South City Partners is financ- ing the $90 million project with private equity and a $58.3 million construction loan from SunTrust Bank. The Next Chapter The Atlanta Braves made nation- al headlines in 2013 when the base- ball team announced its decision to not renew its contract to play at Turner Field, its downtown home since 1997 and the former venue for the track and field events at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. A few years after the announcement, GSU purchased Turner Field and the surrounding 67 acres from the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority. The university partnered with Atlanta-based Carter & Associ- ates for a redevelopment plan of the site, situated in downtown's Summerhill neighborhood about a mile south of GSU's main campus. Since the purchase was finalized in August 2016, Turner Field was converted to a football stadium (dubbed Georgia State Stadium) and hosted its inaugural GSU foot- ball game last fall. As part of the mixed-use rede- velopment of the surrounding site, Austin, Texas-based student hous- ing developer Aspen Heights Part- ners plans to build a community to serve GSU students. Dubbed Aspen Atlanta, the project will be situated on a 3.3-acre site adjacent to the football stadium. In late 2017, Invest Atlanta, the City of Atlanta's economic devel- opment authority, approved a measure to support the student housing project with $70.5 million in bond financing. According to plans filed with Invest Atlanta, Aspen Heights estimates total con- struction costs to be $69.6 million. Aspen Atlanta will feature 220 units and 680 beds, and the devel- oper estimates that monthly rents will range from $830 to $860 per room in a four-bedroom unit, to $1,175 for a one-bedroom unit. As of this writing no construc- tion timeline has been established. (Aspen Heights did not return calls seeking comment for this article.) Although the student housing pipeline is now robust in down- town and Midtown Atlanta, developers are confident the city's historic lack of supply makes it a good time to play catch up in the market. Looking ahead, the big- gest challenge will come not from lack of demand, but from a lack of available space. "It's really land scarcity that's the constraint here, we will always be looking at new opportunities to develop in the Atlanta market," says Githens of Peak Campus. "There is still plenty of potential in Atlanta, it's just about finding locations." John Nelson and Camren Skelton are editors of Southeast Real Estate Business magazine, a sister publication to Student Housing Business magazine. For more information about all of France Media's publications, visit Situated a half-mile from Georgia State University, 120 Piedmont will span 26 stories and feature a rooftop amenity deck, fitness center, café and fully furnished units.

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