Saint Louis University

St. Louis,

Student Housing Master Plan And Update

In 2013 Saint Louis University selected B&D to develop a comprehensive student housing master plan, the objective of which was to identify market demand for student housing, assess current facilities, and produce strategic recommendations for additional on-campus student housing. In particular, we were asked to analyze demographic trends, understand the competitive landscape of the off-campus housing market, and capture housing preferences for both on- and off-campus students. Our responsibilities included gathering input from administrators, students, and staff. Several student focus group interviews were conducted to understand housing experiences and garner feedback on student life and potential campus improvements. Additionally, an online survey tested student satisfaction levels with current housing and demand for new housing. Results of the competitive context and off-campus market analyses illustrated where the university stood relative to its peers in terms of housing costs, amenities, and occupancy. We then developed a model projecting the need for new residence hall- and apartment-style housing in various unit configurations. Total potential demand for additional residence hall-style housing was 86 beds, while apartment-style demand equaled 3,848 beds. A system-wide financial model was built to test the feasibility of the project and to analyze actual and projected revenues, operating expenses, and the general economic performance of each building and/or complex. Furthermore, we identified the programmatic needs for the prospective new housing, determining the best combination of renovations and new construction. We then presented the university with a $161,194,000, three-phase redevelopment plan—two phases of new housing and one of renovation. The first phase of the project, a new residence hall called Spring Hall, opened in 2016. The 153,000 SF, $43 million building can house up to 454 students and has an outdoor amphitheater, chapel, community kitchen and living room, student lounges, study rooms, music practice rooms, classrooms and conference rooms.


With thousands of students providing input, years of preparation, and hundreds of hours of planning, the Department of Housing and Residence Life, along with the Division of Student Development, has officially announced that SLU’s campus is getting a face-lift.