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Posted on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 7:40 a.m.

Luxury student housing hits college campuses nationwide

By Lizzy Alfs

Chances are your college apartment didn’t have walk-in closets, granite countertops and a resort-style pool with private cabanas.

But for a growing number of college students, these luxury amenities are becoming the norm.


A kitchen inside one of the 606 bedrooms at Ann Arbor's Landmark high-rise.

Melanie Maxwell |


The new Zaragon West student high-rise in downtown Ann Arbor.

Melanie Maxwell |

Nationwide, student housing totaling more than 30,000 beds is estimated to be under construction around campuses, the Wall Street Journal reports. Low housing inventory combined with booming enrollment and a demand for luxury are resulting in new high-end developments that rent for top dollar.

“Real estate investors and developers, hungry for new areas of growth, are finding a lucrative and previously untapped market in these areas surrounding college campuses,” the report says.

Similar to the housing trends occurring in Ann Arbor, developers of these new projects are wielding lavish amenities to attract tenants and ensure leasing success.

From free tanning beds and state-of-the art fitness centers to a putting green and Zen garden, these developments have it all. In return, rents can range from $600 per person for a shared unit to $1,500 or more for a single bedroom.

Housing is also becoming an important factor for students deciding among colleges, the report says. For some, it’s even outweighing academics and sports teams.

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

Can someone explain this to me because I can't figure this out.So UofM receives state funding they receive millions if not billions from private donate'rs , spend money like it's going out of style , pay no taxes and the students parents can afford this type of rent/lifestyle.So why are taxpayers money going to the UofM ? ( other than it being a " public " university that most people can never afford ) I'm not criticizing anyone here I just don't understand it.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

Take a look at this slide deck from U-M. It will give you a sense of what the university actually spends money on.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

it seems to me its a nitch market.... mostly students from a well to do back ground. It shouldn't be surprising that people with more money can afford more or nicer things than people with less money. Thats been going on for thousands of years. I drive a 10 year old car. If i could afford a new car I would buy one. I don't begrudge folks who can buy a new car every year. Now if these "kids" live in luxury for 4 years then file bankruptcy I would be miffed.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

a2Citizen-If these kids parents are footing the bill for these luxury apartments, I would bet bet both my arms that they won't need to worry about any student loans whatsoever....


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Craig.... I agree with you about begrudging aka: envy / jealousy people with money.But that is kinda what my comment below is about


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

Not to worry Craig. Filing for bankruptcy does not forgive student loans.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Well, this answers what will replace Blimpy's. A 37-story luxury dorm for students.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

... and there are more student luxury high rise buildings planned for Ann Arbor. At some point the market for high cost student living quarters will be saturated and Ann Arbor will experience "son of Ashley-Terrace." However, the peculiar schematics of many apartments may not allow any other use, which means that final financial outcome may not be desirable for the city and the DDA.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

Unbelievable. Catering to the 1%. Show us a photo after these places are trashed....... Another poster asked why they don't just rent houses or condos? Because these kids want to be "in town" and the "amenities" for houses and condos don't match these new high rises at any price. Many of the traditional student rental houses around campus are high priced dumps. That's one positive for these lux high rises. It might put the slum lords out of business.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

I don't think even the One Percenters can afford this plus out of state tuition. Certainly not those that have more than one kid in college. Maybe the .25 Percenters.

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

That divisive "1%" stuff is so 2011.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

"It's not an education, it's a lifestyle!"

tom swift jr.

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

Our public schools are failing, our workers are being devalued and fiscally assaulted, our homeless are being shoved further into rathole living conditions, crime is getting worse, it's no longer safe to walk the streets in Ann Arbor once the sun goes down... But this.....this news is like a breath of fresh air, I'll sleep better tonight knowing that the children of the 1% don't have to worry that their kitchen counters will be stained when they spill that bottle of expensive red....


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

Justify your fear bubble in any way you want. What's not to be trusted are the fear mongers. I'm sticking with the math - both local, statewide and national. You go with whatever supports your world view irrespective of the truth.

tom swift jr.

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 3:31 p.m.

The statistics commonly reported do not include statistics from the University police force... they really can't be trusted.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

Fact check: crime is way down in AA (and elsewhere) on clear trend line.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

When we ask ourselves how the US is falling behind in education, workplace readiness, and unsustainable personal debt, look no further than the transformation of college into a vacation.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

If the kids (parents) are able to afford $1000+ for a bed, why on earth would parents not just cosign for a house or a condo instead? With near 3% interest and the need to help Barbie and Ken establish their golden credit future who would waste money on a rental? Unless Barbie and Ken already own shares in those apartment buildings to begin with.

Milton Shift

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Some of these kids have way too much money.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5 p.m.

I thought that the dorm room with the concrete block walls was all part of the "college experience" that helps you become more rounded? These ammenities would make some DoubleTree and HIlton hotels choke. Nothing like parents wanting to send their kids off to college without helping to humble them huh? This is sickening.


Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

This isn't the kids at all. What % of students at UofM actually pay for their schooling, less the scholarships and grants? This is their parents 100%