CNBC's Diana Olick looks at the amenities arms race in the student housing sector, as off-campus housing continues to evolve, and proliferate, at public universities.

Olick uses Landmark, a lush student housing community near the University of Maryland, as a case study. The development's rooms include 50-inch televisions, en-suite bathrooms, washer/dryers, and hardwood floors, while amenities include a fitness center with sauna, spin room and tanning beds, a game room, a media room, and even a private Zen garden.

This type of student living is fast becoming standard at large public universities across the country. Residential developers are pouring money into the sector, upping the ante on amenities and seeing occupancy rise. Approximately 47,700 new beds are expected to come to market in privately owned, student housing properties for the fall 2016 semester, with universities in the Southeast the primary target ...

"The interest really started two or three years ago. A lot of the capital — institutional investors — needed to be educated on the space itself and what it meant to be in student housing. We had to do a lot of convincing that it wasn't all 'Animal House' structures, but actually really stable cash flow properties," said J.J. Smith, chief operating officer of CA Student Living. "Now that we have educated the institutional world, we're seeing a lot of capital interested in these properties."

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