QUARTERS ON CAMPUS
08 / 01 / 2006
Beginning in 2005, San Miguel Management participated in the formation of The Quarters on Campus. This multi-year, multi-phase development focused on student housing near the University of Texas at Austin. The Quarters planning began years earlier in conjunction with the foresight of a national developer, and culminated in the passage of new zoning in the West Campus area near U.T. The zoning changes unleashed 20 years of pent-up development demand for student housing with more favorable building densities and looser zoning restrictions. San Miguel was at the forefront of the student housing boom starting in 2006, initially operating three off-campus student dormitories. Two of these sites were ultimately demolished and reconstructed for The Quarters apartment communities. The Quarters consists of nine buildings with more than 600 units and 1600 beds, retail storefronts and multiple parking facilities for over 1600 vehicles.
San Miguel provided much of the initial input and planning on the proposed zoning changes (UNO zoning overlay) impacting West Campus, the establishment of a parking benefits district, the affordability component and qualification criteria of the City of Austin’s SMART Housing program, the implementation of a two-way bike lane on Rio Grande Street, the creation of the West Campus Coalition and is a member of the University Area Partners (UAP) neighborhood association. Mark Ezell, a Principal at San Miguel, is a Board Member of UAP which is very active in overseeing all development, zoning and other activities in the West Campus area. Other areas of student housing leadership for San Miguel include driving the West Campus Coalition and the Austin Private Dormitory Association (APDA). Finally, San Miguel also championed the development of a promulgated by-the-bed contract from the Texas Real Estate Commission and by-the-bed reporting functions from leaders in property management software applications.
Student housing is a unique property type that requires: in-depth knowledge of the adjacent institution for higher education and open lines of communication with the same; familiarity with the ebbs and flows of advance preleasing cycles; the ability to service student masses on a 24/7 basis; the capacity to deal with both students and parents; the know-how and experience turning 600 units (1600 beds) over a two week period; the intimacy and skill of reaching students through dynamic social marketing channels and other ever-changing venues; the proficiency to deal with “beds” rather than “units”, individual by-the-bed leases, mass move-ins and move-outs and changing rents/specials by the day. San Miguel Management has consistently yielded satisfying performance results with such achievements as below industry standard turn costs and above standard resident retention rates. San Miguel Management’s tenured relationship with an institutional client and national developer are testimonials of success in student housing at The Quarters.
Under our management The Quarters has consistently leased above 95%, has boasted renewal rates over 30%, and remains some of the cleanest propertes in the market.