KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


When will the private dorm building boom end?

Is supply close to meeting demand?
Posted at 5:00 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 22:39:12-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Tall towers have taken root all around the University, and still more are sprouting.  It's enrollment growth and the appeal of living close.

Private dorm resident Caitlin Moffett says, “Knowing that I wanted to live within a mile of campus really limited my options and then I personally knew I wanted to live somewhere more modern so I just looked at these and I think we did a tour with all of the surrounding ones and I chose my apartment because there is less partying and the maintenance is better."

Ariana Presotto says,  "It's really convenient.  You don't have to drive.  And a lot of students who go to U of A are from out of state so that whole thing is really convenient. And they're considered luxury apartments.  They're a lot nicer than the ones I'd say are maybe that way but they are pricier, that is for sure but it's a price a lot of people are willing to pay."

Besides 23 on-campus dorms, UA refers students to about 30 off-campus complexes with about eleven thousand beds.  By Fall 2019, the housing office expects new construction to add close to 13 hundred beds, in complexes connected to the U of A program.  Construction in unaffiliated complexes is expected to add even more.

The simple explanation for the building boom is the boom in UA student enrollment but landlords and business analysts tell us there's more to it than that.  Because costs are generally lower in Tucson a company that builds here might manage a six percent profit margin.  Somewhere else it might be just two percent.

We've heard disagreement over how long the boom will keep booming.  Some landlords think by Fall 2019 supply and demand will fall into balance or there could be a surplus of space.  Others who track student housing think demand and low mortgage rates will keep the boom going.