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The Big New College Trend: Billion Dollar Off-Campus Dorms That Are Nicer Than 5 Star Hotels

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BLOOMBERGTwo resort-style pools, with deckside cabanas. A beach volleyball court, professional-grade barbecues, and around-the-clock staff. Sounds like a good place for a college student to spend spring break—if she didn’t already live there.

Purpose-built student housing such as the Stadium Centre apartments—the 710-bed complex described above, a short walk to Florida State University’s Tallahassee campus—has become increasingly upscale over the past decade, driven by rising enrollments and an infusion of new capital. Investors seeking recession-resistant assets poured an estimated $4.5 billion into the properties last year, up from $3 billion the year before.

And—surprise, surprise—developers targeting college students are building private dorms that are more likely to resemble beach motels than libraries. Eighty percent of residents of off-campus student housing had access to a swimming pool, based on Bloomberg’s analysis of 94 student housing complexes across the U.S. Fifty-five percent lived in properties with on-site tanning salons, while 45 percent have beach volleyball courts. Just 38 percent offered dedicated study rooms.

Here is a partial list of the types of pools that students are swimming in, according to the apartment complex websites:

“resort-style swimming pool”
“spa-style swimming pool”
“heated saltwater pool”
“lazy river, oasis pool, hot tub and misting system”

For the past few years all I’ve been saying is “thank God I got out of college when I did.” With the way everybody is cracking down on partying, how every theme party is a hate crime, constant protests over the smallest things. Just seems like you have a better chance of getting arrested and/or internet-shamed than having an actual good time. But maybe I was wrong? Maybe it’s about to be the Golden Age of College featuring billion dollar dorm rooms that are built like Spring Break hotels? I mean look at this shit.

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I mean you can pitch a tent in the quad and chant into a bullhorn about income equality all you want if I’m safely half a mile away tanning next to my heated saltwater pool. And with more and more rich people realizing what a good investment it is, it won’t only be the Arizona States and Florida States of the world with access to these type of dorms. It’ll be an Oprah type situation – you get a sauna! And you get a steam room! And you get a lazy river next to an oasis pool with a floating foosball table!