Lehman College


Student Housing Advisory Services

Lehman College engaged Brailsford & Dunlavey in June 2008 to conduct a market analysis for a new undergraduate student housing project. Because the college’s first-time undergraduate and transfer student enrollment had grown steadily in the past few years―15 percent since 2011―B&D was re-engaged in February 2017 to investigate potential demand and amenity and unit-type preferences for new on-campus student housing. The college’s projected future enrollment growth was 2 percent annually for the next decade, producing a 20 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment by 2026, amounting to 2200 additional students.

The contemplated project was to contain 350 beds in single and double occupancy configurations in approximately 88,000 square feet at a total project cost of approximately $45.6 million.
B&D’s project team developed a work plan for this project that included the following:

• Demographic and peer benchmarking analyses
• An off-campus market analysis
• Student focus groups and an online survey regarding current housing options and future preferences
• A demand model projecting unit type preferences

In addition to the above, B&D also performed a financial analysis to test the project’s feasibility and evaluate its potential economic performance in the context of the underwriting criteria.

Based on its market and financial analyses, B&D concluded there was sufficient demand for a student housing project on or near the college campus, and while students expressed interest in all tested unit types, B&D recommended semi-suites as the most efficient housing type to maintain relative affordability. B&D’s advisory services on this project will serve as the foundation for decision-making as the college continues to explore solutions for implementing future student housing.