University Village at Slippery Rock Surpasses Company Expectations with Year-End Leasing Performance
Monday February 21, 2011
Pennsylvania off-campus community proves market is ready for up-scale, resident-centered student housing
RALEIGH, NC – February 21, 2011 – The Preiss Company (“TPCO”), one of the largest off-campus student housing providers in the nation, has outpaced company expectations and local market demand with its newest third-party management property in Pennsylvania – University Village at Slippery Rock. TPCO reports that the property, which serves the students at Slippery Rock University, was fully pre-leased for the 2011-2012 year, with a waiting list forming for their four-bedroom units.
TPCO was hired last year by property owner, Oculus Capital Group (OCG) in Washington, DC, to manage the off-campus apartment community, which was TPCO’s first student housing presence in Pennsylvania. University Village at Slippery Rock, formerly known as The Ivy, is a 632-bed, 200-unit property located a quarter of a mile from Slippery Rock University. The property offers two-bedroom, two-bathroom and four-bedroom, four-bathroom units. All units are equipped with stainless steel appliances, brushed nickel fixtures, leather furniture, and hardwood cabinetry. In addition, OCG has invested $700,000 in additional property improvements including additional lighting, landscape improvements, and additional parking.
Adam Byrley, TPCO Regional Manager, said that TPCO expected to have an early leasing season for University Village at Slippery Rock based on the historical data gathered, but he admits the sheer velocity they experienced was unprecedented for both TPCO and the student-housing market.
“In student housing, any time you can fill up to 100% is amazing,” says Byrley. “Sometimes some markets are better than others, but very rarely does a site ever fill up to 100%. Waiting lists are not typical for student housing, as most markets have enough supply to cover 100% of the demand. However, in our case here in Slippery Rock, our product and our property management were extremely desirable and students chose to be on a waiting list for a ‘chance’ to be a part of this property before they secured other housing elsewhere.”
Byrley said that TPCO began marketing the property by starting with basic renewal parties and then built excitement around the capital improvements that would be coming to the property. Between advertisements in the local college newspaper, their daily table during “common hour” (an hour each day around lunch when no classes are scheduled for Slippery Rock University students), and by advertising to competitors, TPCO was able to generate positive publicity and property awareness. “When someone finds out about something amazing, word tends to travel fast. This was definitely the case in Slippery Rock,” adds Byrley.
Byrley says that TPCO was able to convert those people on the four-bedroom waiting list to two-bedroom leases and thereby successfully accommodating everyone’s needs. At present, the property is now currently creating a waitlist for full units for both floor plans.
OCG President and Managing Principal, Christopher Feeley, says that he is pleased with the leasing performance of University Village at Slippery Rock and that this accomplishment is a reflection of the demand for exceptional student housing in the Slippery Rock community.
“The end-of-year performance by University Village at Slippery Rock proves that the off-campus housing residents of Slippery Rock University desire not just housing, but the overall off-campus housing ‘experience’,” says Feeley. “The Preiss Company clearly understands the importance of creating an atmosphere that complements the collegiate experience rather than competes with it. Ours is a partnership that is working and will hopefully set the foundation of how property owners and property managers can work together to surpass leasing goals and provide a first-rate experience for residents.”
OCG purchased the property for just under $23.5 million over the summer last year after the property went into bankruptcy. The apartment facility was originally constructed in 2007 at a cost of $35 million. OCG has already completed improvements to the existing clubhouse and has expanded the fitness center. They are also planning to install new sports amenities including a sand volleyball court, as well as a sports court with basketball hoops.
“So many other properties in the market have given their residents the very simple and basic necessities that students had grown complacent with,” says Byrley. “The student housing market in Slippery Rock had really been in need for a property owner to come in and give residents what they actually wanted, which is exactly what happened at University Village. OCG asked the students what they wanted and then delivered on the promises immediately. We went above and beyond with our clubhouse upgrades and gave the University Village residents a spectacular area that is both top-of-the-line and functional to their social and educational needs. We’re very confident that we’ll continue to experience great success with University Village at Slippery Rock.”
About The Preiss Company
TPCO is the leader in the development of new technologies, tools, and strategies for the student housing industry and acts as a receiver for several national banks. In its 24th year, the company has formed over 50 partnerships and developed over 20 projects stretching from Maryland to Texas. For more information, visit www.tpco.com.
Amy Barger, Marketing Director
The Preiss Company