Not your average dorm: With ‘cottage housing,’ college living goes upscale

October 24, 2012 09:00AM

College housing is not typically associated with luxury, but the arrival of “cottage housing” for students may change that. According to the Wall Street Journal, student housing firms that in the past have focused on building apartments that are close to campus but have few amenities are now building upscale standalone, amenity-rich houses clustered around clubhouses.

Across the nation some 35 cottage communities with nearly 19,000 beds have already been built and an additional 18 with roughly 12,000 beds have either broken ground or are being planned, according to Landmark Properties CEO Wes Rogers, the firm that built roughly one-third of the cottages.

The percentage of cottage housing remains small compared to traditional student housing, but industry experts expect the popularity of the product to grow, as the number of students enrolled in universities grows.

“It’s sort of the next evolution of student housing,” Rogers said. “You don’t have neighbors above you like in a traditional dorm environment. You literally live in your own house.”

And while cottage-style housing commands rents at least 10 percent higher than the nearby alternatives, students are lining up to get an apartment. This academic year, Landmark had waiting lists in half of it 16 communities and its cottages are 96 percent leased compared with 93 percent for most student housing.  [WSJ]Christopher Cameron