DBJ: Crawford Hoying acquires most of Wright State’s student housing, will invest millions to modernize

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Wright State University’s Dayton Campus

One of the region’s most active commercial real estate developers has acquired the vast majority of Wright State University’s student housing and plans to invest millions to modernize the properties.

Crawford Hoying has taken over The Woods, Honors Hall, and other university housing along Zink Road, including The Village Apartments, College Park Apartments and University Park Apartments.

The Dublin-based developer now owns and controls more than 2,700 beds and will begin managing the properties in fall 2022, pending an operating agreement with the university. WSU retains ownership and control of about 550 beds through Forest Lane Apartments and Hamilton Hall.

The university on Wednesday said Crawford Hoying will invest millions to upgrade the properties, including a clubhouse addition with a fitness area and an outdoor swimming pool. The developer also plans to outfit the building with open living areas and install big-screen televisions.

“Our plan is to modernize the current student housing options, beginning with the shared common spaces and amenities in each building,” Mike Landrum, executive vice present of property management for Crawford Hoying, said Wednesday in a release.

In addition to modernizing the properties, Crawford Hoying is exploring ways to lower housing rates for the upcoming fall, according to Greg Sample, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Wright State.

Crawford Hoying is no stranger to student housing. Most recently, the firm inked an agreement with Trinitas Ventures to create a $420 million mixed-use development near the University of Cincinnati that will feature 850 beds for students, along with other residential, commercial and hospitality uses.

Crawford Hoying has invested heavily in downtown Dayton as well. The firm is the lead on the $100 million Mendelson project, one of the city’s largest redevelopment efforts; and its residential developments like the Water Street Apartments, Delco Lofts and Centerfield Flats are nearing full occupancy.

“They understand the competitive landscape and know there has to be a level of amenity and service provided in order to maximize occupancy,” Sample said. “They have a plan to freshen up the housing and make it exciting.”

Crawford Hoying acquired the residential properties from AM Management, which had owned and maintained the facilities since September 2006, according to The Guardian, WSU’s student newspaper. The contract between WSU and AM Management was set to end in June 2021, the newspaper said.

The contract between WSU and Crawford Hoying will ensure the university is fully compensated for the residential support services it provides, Sample said.

The developer has also begun establishing relationships with WSU’S Residence Life and Housing, Office of Marketing and Dining Services.

“We’re excited about Wright State’s long-term vision, and we feel there’s an opportunity to make small changes in the student housing that will make large impacts in the students’ lives,” Landrum said.

Founded in 1967, Wright State University is the third-largest postsecondary institution in the Dayton region, according to DBJ research. The university operates its main campus in Fairborn near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, as well as a regional campus in Celina.

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