The College of New Jersey

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Student Housing Advisory Services

CLIENT CHALLENGE
Built in 1971, The College of New Jersey’s Travers and Wolfe residence halls encompass two 10-story towers comprised of 522 beds each in double-occupancy, traditional-style unit types. They are home to the majority of the College’s first-year residents and host the First Seminar Program. The towers were experiencing significant deferred maintenance issues and were also nearing the end of their useful lives. Because of this challenge and the recent opening of the Campus Town mixed-use development (a public-private partnership between the College and PRC Group), Brailsford & Dunlavey was hired in 2015 to conduct a student housing analysis to identify market demand and determine the College’s options for Travers and Wolfe halls.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
The market analysis yielded both qualitative and quantitative data that enabled B&D to better understand the College’s on-campus housing market. Analyses were performed on existing conditions, demographics, peer institutions, off-campus housing, financial, phasing, demand, and cost-benefit of Travers and Wolfe halls.

B&D SOLUTION
B&D determined that while there was limited net new housing demand, the College’s student housing portfolio lacked the market-responsive unit types and amenities desired by contemporary students. In conjunction with the College, B&D concluded that Travers and Wolfe halls no longer met the College’s physical or programmatic needs and that the benefits of replacing them exceeded the benefits of renovation.

The College approved replacing Travers and Wolfe halls and engaged B&D again in 2016, this time to further define the impact of the replacement project and develop a 10-year phasing plan to enhance the competitive nature of the College’s housing inventory. However, based on B&D’s programming and budgeting analyses of the proposed new housing, the College determined renovation was a better option. College officials acknowledged that B&D’s work provided the information needed to make this decision—one that better fit their needs and budget and those of the student community.