- Tom Silva
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Dad’s Dorm Was Nothing Like This
Even during a steep recession, the demand for the right niche product like student housing remains strong because people know they need education and training to compete effectively in a fast-shrinking job pool. At a time when universities have seen their endowments and investment revenues decrease because of the state of the equity markets, private-sector developers have recognized this need and are taking the opportunity to diversify their portfolios by developing institutional-grade student residences in prime locations.
We are now seeing the largest generation in 50 years, the 78 million echo boomers (born between 1982 and 1985) flooding the higher education system. The Alter Group’s initial response to the critical need for upscale downtown Chicago student residences is Fornelli Hall, a $45 million transformation of eight floors within the historic Pittsfield Building. Profiled in a recent issue of University Business magazine online, Fornelli Hall opened for business last fall with signed master ground leases for 350 beds with Roosevelt University and Robert Morris College.