A New Option in Off Campus Living for Area University Students

“Student housing is certainly the darling of commercial real estate now, and probably the most liquid sector right now. We’re going to see a continuing trend toward more development,” says Travis Prince, senior associate with the Jackman Prince group of Marcus & Millichap in Tampa, FL. This type of real estate development requires location, economy and a safe, comforting setting and amenities in order to be successful.

The Jefferson, a new off campus student living project designed by Butler, Rosenbury & Partners and developed by the Miller O’Reilly Company, may appear to be just another four-story apartment building. A closer look reveals a more substantive contribution to the neighborhood and nearby university community.

An initial challenge was to maximize the use of the site. BR&P worked closely with Olsson Associates to utilize every square foot of property for building, parking, landscaping and site amenities. Ultimately, the site development plan yielded 25.6% green space (20% is required), but left no allowance for storm water detention and treatment. What’s more, the site is in an area of town not served by storm sewers, and the option of providing a new storm sewer system was not feasible.

“Redevelopment sites are a vital element to keeping our urban cores vibrant. The challenge is the infrastructure is simply not made to meet today’s performance standards. The Jefferson is a great example of how a collaborative and innovative approach can solve multiple problems in a cost sensitive economy,” says Eric Dove, PE, Olsson Associates’ Water Resources Team Leader. The design team’s approach to this issue addresses detention and runoff quality by using pervious paving in the drive lanes of the parking lot to collect storm water, which filters through a 3′ deep base rock layer. The voids among the large base rock are used for detention. The water then collects in drain pipes and exits slowly through a series of small pipes.

The building design was approached with sensitivity to the neighborhood which includes two-story 1920’s houses, and across the street, an historic school. The exterior of the building’s office area features brick matching the school, with the rest of the building picking up design elements from neighboring houses. The interior office, designed by Buxton Kubik Dodd Creative, reflects the patriotic namesake of the project, with an image of Thomas Jefferson (from the $2 bill) in the lobby.Lobby 1

The units are furnished and leased by the bedroom. Units are a mix of 1, 2 and 4-bedroom options, and most have one bathroom for each bedroom. In addition to the office area which doubles as a common living room, amenities include one bike rack per room, a badminton court, common patio space and a lawn area.

Construction for this project was by Build LLC, who has specialized experience in multi-story, wood-framed residential projects. Build LLC completed the construction in six months.

“This project had to work on several levels – as an attractive residence for college students, as a neighborhood asset, as an environmentally-responsible development, and as a sound investment for our client. That The Jefferson has been so well-received by tenants, the neighboring community, and the city’s stormwater folk indicates to me that the design and development team was on the right track for what was a relatively risky undertaking,” adds Tim Rosenbury, AIA, Architect & Principal at BR&P.

Have a redevelopment or targeted market project coming up? Call Bruce Adib-Yazdi, AIA, LEED AP BD+C at 417-521-6164.

The Jefferson Project Team

Developer: Miller O’Reilly Company; Architect & Structural Engineer: Butler, Rosenbury & Partners; Interior Designer: Buxton Kubik Dodd Creative; Civil Engineer/Landscape Architect: Olsson Associates; MEP Engineer: Colvin Jones Davis; General Contractor: Build LLC