Wexford Science+Technology

Winston-Salem,

Graduate Student Housing Market Study

In 2010 B&D was commissioned by Wexford Science+Technology to analyze graduate student housing demand at Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Wexford was interested in building a mixed-use development in downtown Winston-Salem that would include graduate student housing. We completed a market analysis for Wexford through the following approach: a detailed demographic review; conversations with Wake Forest administrators concerning strategic objectives; focus groups and intercept interviews with students concerning their housing preferences; a review of alternate student housing options; implementation of an Internet-based student survey to test demand and quantify preferences; development of a model to project demand for housing by unit type and price point based on data collected during the survey; and an operating financial model to help determine rental rate requirements. Wexford’s proposed project included the development of 159 beds. Our ensuing analysis identified demand for 122 beds with greater weight given to one-bedroom efficiencies. To assist Wexford with next steps, we issued a series of recommendations related to addressing affordability issues, decreasing bed count, marketing more effectively, expanding the target market, and adjusting the timeline to help generate a more viable housing product.