Al Payne

Amenities, Amenities

The partners at Residential Housing Development (RHD) saw that under­grads flocked to off-campus dormitories with outstanding amenities, even when they were several miles away. So RHD decided the right amenity package along with a closer campus would be an even bigger win-win. And the theory has proved correct at its year-old project The District on Apache, near Arizona State University in Tempe. The property leased up three months after opening and has a waiting list.

Resort-Style Cool

Everything from clubrooms with big-screen TVs to billiards/shuffleboard courts appeals to students, as do fitness centers, the latest Wi-Fi, and outdoor goodies such as pools, hot tubs, fire pits, grills, and colored lights. The buzz about The District is its meandering set of pools that let students tube through moving water or sit on sunning shelves. “We believe it hadn’t been done in student housing,” says landscape architect Dan Erlandsen of Humphreys & Partners Architects’ Scottsdale, Ariz., office.

Places to Study, Too

But don’t worry, parents: There are places to focus on studies in the seven-story stucco, limestone, and glass building, both outdoors, in smaller courtyards away from the pool, and indoors, in three-window study rooms or an Internet-connected computer lab. “We wanted to make it a little edgier and more urban and deliver the pizzazz the kids want—the latest and greatest. We’re really doing a resort,” says architect Greg Faulkner, president of Humphreys & Partners, which is headquartered in Dallas.

All About the Bed

Student housing is defined by beds, not bedrooms, and at this project, residents have the option of one, two, three, or four beds(rooms) per apartment. Each bedroom provides good-sized closets and a private bath, plus a shared living room, kitchen, washer–­dryer, and outdoor area. Monthly rents top out at $1,500 for a single bed, with the unit averaging 600 square feet; units with four separate beds measure 1,500 square feet and lease for $1,200 per bed. Most are targeted at sophomores and juniors, says Faulkner.

Built to Last

Students are hard on their surroundings, so RHD built quality, durable product at The District and invests regularly in furnishings and repainting. The developer also used artificial turf instead of grass, desert plants, faux wood floors, commercial carpeting, extra insulation to dampen noise, solid-core doors, and a hip décor. All units are equipped with replaceable components, says Holly Attwood, whose Houston-based firm, Spectrum Design/Purchasing, oversaw design.