Boston BisNow recently published a new piece featuring CannonDesign’s Lynne Deninger discussing emerging trends for student housing in Boston and around the country. Student housing is a major focus for Boston as the Mayor has outlined a plan to ensure all students reside in safe, suitable housing and create 18,500 new student residence beds by 2030. This achievement will help Boston’s thriving academic institutions accommodate more than 148,000 students enrolled in greater Boston and return 5,000 units of workforce housing to the market. As Lynne notes, “Part of the solution is creating dynamic campus housing options that appeal to students over the next decade.”
The full piece can be read online here:
4 Things You Need to Know About the Future of Student Housing
On Micro-Unit Housing
Developers and designers are also beginning to focus on micro-housing units that provide housing options near universities at a reasonable price point. One particularly forward-thinking developer we’re exploring opportunities with is University Student Living of The Michaels Organization, which is currently developing such a space near Boston University. The new facility renovates a previously vacant commercial building to include micro-housing units from 325 SF to 400 SF that each offer a private kitchen and bathroom. The mixed-use building also contains 6,200 SF of retail space on the first floor and community areas such as a fitness center and a multimedia room, and common areas to foster connectivity.
On Helping Retain Students
Student housing in the future will also need to be calibrated to retain students, because one of the leading reasons students leave school is lack of engagement. Student housing can help address this issue by introducing spaces that enrich student engagement. Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s East Hall, for example, addressed this issue a few years ago by providing fitness spaces, tech suites, meeting space and music rooms all within the residence hall. Newer projects are building on these trends by incorporating spaces for advising, programmed events (indoor and outside), group study collaboration, wellness and dining into campus housing facilities.
At Pratt Institute in New York, CannonDesign is incorporating maker, design and pin-up space to engage the first-year cohort. This kind of design helps first-year students connect with and be mentored by upper-division students, which can strengthen student retention rates.”