Bluefield State College


Student Housing Market Assessment And Economic Analysis

In 2015 Bluefield State College selected B&D, as part of the Thompson & Litton, Inc. Master Plan Implementation team, to identify market demand and develop an economic model for a new student housing project on the Bluefield campus. The college had not offered on-campus housing for nearly 50 years, but recognized it as a critical element in recruitment and retention efforts. The housing project was part of a larger planned campus enhancement, including a new quad and parking garage. The overall project was intended to create a more vibrant student life atmosphere for current and future students and to expand the college’s recruitment radius. To complete this assignment, we utilized our proprietary Strategic Asset Visioning work session with college administrators to determine the project’s desired outcomes / goals; conducted an off-campus market analysis to identify the nature and character of the private, multi-family housing market; led student focus groups to gain qualitative information about student housing opinions, observations, and preferences; administrated an Internet-based survey of the college’s students to assess housing preferences, selection criteria, amenities, and price sensitivities; and developed a demand model to quantify market demand by unit type. The resulting total demand was for approximately 140 beds in a combination of pod- and apartment-style units. Two groups of students would primarily be served by this development: a subset that would like to live on campus in the least expensive unit type (pod style) and another set desiring more independent living option (apartment style). In 2016 we supported the Thompson & Litton team and the college during the development of a conceptual outline housing program and program document.