COLLABORATION

A catalyst for change: New development brings blended living to Georgia Tech

SOURCE: Campus Realty Advisors
The Midtown Northside Drive corner view of the new development named Catalyst- in close proximity to Georgia Tech.

Prioritising campus accessibility and resident security, the new purpose-built student housing development in West Midtown Atlanta will be strategic walk away from the neighbouring campus of Georgia Tech.

Named ‘Catalyst’, this new development shall blur the boundaries between living, working and learning environments with its on-site STEM Lab, spacious sky deck and collaborative club rooms.

Jumping on the blended living bandwagon, the companies behind the collaborative construction, Dutch investment group Realiance, T2 Capital Management firm from Illinois and student housing service Campus Realty Advisors based in Atlanta, have nailed down a major student housing trend.

Recently highlighted by The Class of 2020, a partner-based think tank for the future of living, learning and working in university-cities, blended living is a liberating movement for universities that wish to become more mobile, more diverse and more student-oriented.

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During the recent Class Conference 2019: The Future is Blended in Berlin, it was noted that blended living evolves around the changing needs and desires of the millennials and Gen Zs.

“Gone are the days of siloed education and career paths defined spatially by homes, offices and university libraries. Digitisation of education and work, inaccessibility of housing for young people and less linear career trajectories have given rise to a new generation of globally-minded talent eager for experience-driven lifelong learning.

“Approaching 2020, these are exciting times for the industry, as we observe a blend between student housing, co-living, short stay concepts and hospitality all contributing to more diverse options for accommodating individualised young urbanites,” the think tank’s opening speech outlined.

Backed by CEO and Founder of The Student Hotel in Amsterdam and key conference speaker Charlie MacGregor, it is believed to be fundamental for university accommodation providers to start tying the design and usability aspects of student housing, co-living and hotel accommodation together.

Referring to his student establishment, MacGregor explains that by placing short- and long-stay accommodation, co-working spaces, restaurant areas, gyms and events programmes, he can cater to students from all walks of life and encourage them to connect with each other through on-site facilities and activities.

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Instead of keeping residents confined to their allocated apartment units, Catalyst will also follow this blend of amenities by building a commercial quality fitness centre, multiple study rooms in each unit, game areas, a bike shop and storage area, three relaxing courtyards, a swimming pool deck with grilling and gathering areas, 24-hour package delivery lockers and a convenient ride-share pick-up service.

“Our approach is to find properties that are walkable to campus and build communities specifically to meet the needs of the university’s students. We look forward to creating a quality living and learning experience for our residents and value for our partners,” Randy Herron, a Principal with Campus Realty, commented in a media release.

“This opportunity fits squarely within our strategy.  This is the best location for off-campus student housing in the Georgia Tech market.  We’re working with Campus Realty on similar properties in other markets, and this type of location and product offering is always in high demand,” Jeff Brown of T2 adds.

Expected to start blending the social and study lives of Georgia Tech students by the start of the Fall semester in 2021, this new development of 187 apartment units, including 532 bedrooms, has the potential to become a catalyst for change.

Inspiring universities and student housing specialists across the US to rethink their accommodation amenities and campus accessibility, the future of this new development looks bright, accessible and blended.