EdR, Landmark Properties to Develop Student-Housing Community at Ole Miss

EdR and Landmark Properties have committed to joining forces on the development of a 668-bed student housing property near the University of Mississippi in Oxford. The project, which will sit in a residential neighborhood approximately one mile from campus, will cost $36 million to develop.

February 27, 2012
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

EdR and Landmark Properties have committed to joining forces on the development of a 668-bed student housing property near the University of Mississippi in Oxford. The project, which will sit in a residential neighborhood approximately one mile from campus, will cost $36 million to develop.

The new property, designed in the cottage-style concept that is fast becoming a Landmark trademark, will feature 160 residences offering the upscale finishings — gourmet kitchens and ceramic tile–and the resort-style amenities–tanning beds and a multi-tiered swimming pool–that students are all but demanding in off-campus housing accommodations today. EdR and Landmark plan to kick off construction this spring and complete the project in fall 2013.

EdR, with a 70 percent ownership stake in the endeavor, will contribute roughly $25.7 million of the development cost. “We currently have better and lower cost access to construction financing, which facilitates our development program and is attractive to various joint venture partners,” Randy Churchey, EdR president and CEO, said during the company’s third quarter earnings conference call in late October 2011. Last year, the REIT entered into an agreement with Edwards Cos. to develop, own and manage a 774-bed project near the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

EdR will also manage the new Ole Miss housing community, the REIT’s first property designed in the increasingly popular cottage style. “The cottage community creates a neighborhood lifestyle unique to any traditional student housing apartments,” Tom Trubiana, EdR executive vice president and chief investment officer, said. “While still affordable, the cottage architecture provides students with a sense of individuality and privacy.” Landmark commenced construction of its most recent cottage community, the 774-bed Retreat at Tucson in Arizona, in February.

Upscale tastes or no, the student population in the U.S. is on the upswing and the call for housing is growing louder in tandem. As noted in a report by Red Capital Group, the number of primary users of student housing space, those between the ages of 18 and 24, is at a record high. Additionally, “the highly competitive nature of the job market has elevated the bachelor’s degree and increasingly professional and graduate degrees to career prerequisites, encouraging a growing percentage of young adults to enroll in a full-time course of study, a trend that appears to have longer to run.”