Trinitas Ventures LLC
The Collegiate at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will help usher in a new wave of high-quality student housing. Developers and educational institutions have become increasingly concerned with the comfort and quality of student-housing developments and The Collegiate is part of a recent wave of developments that seem more related to a condominium or townhome than a typical college dorm. The Collegiate is being developed by Trinitas Ventures LLC (Trinitas), a fully integrated property management, development and real-estate company that specializes in student housing.
A team boasting extensive experience in developing all classes of commercial properties resides at Trinitas headquarters in West Lafayette, Ind. Given the fact that Trinitas is based out of the same town as Purdue University, it’s no surprise that student housing has become one of the company’s greatest strengths. Trinitas employs in-house teams for property management, development, market research and construction, providing the ability to also serve in a consulting capacity for complex real estate transactions and structures.
The company has developed student housing for both private and public institutions, forming partnerships with universities to develop custom-tailored projects for on-campus and off-campus housing.
Trinitas’ portfolio of completed student-housing projects is largely concentrated within the Midwest. However, the company has gradually extended its focus into the southeastern states with The Collegiate marking Trinitas’ first foray into the Virginia market. The Collegiate is strategically located one-half mile from the VCU campus in Monroe Park, the heart of Richmond, Va. Regular shuttles will run from The Collegiate to VCU’s campus, as well as to the VCU medical center.
In addition, Trinitas has established a reputation in the marketplace for moving swiftly forward with projects. Between 2010 and the second quarter of 2011, Trinitas completed over $130 million in student-housing financing. The Collegiate’s site was previously home to a trailer park, which Trinitas acquired for $2.6 million after a previous developer planned a student-housing development only to be dissolved following charges of tax credit fraud.
The Collegiate represents the second project between the joint venture of Trinitas and Chicago-based Harrison Real Estate Capital LLC. The joint venture previously funded the development of 1201 Indiana, a student-housing project located in Indianapolis that serves students at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The 1201 Indiana development added 7,000 square feet of commercial space, including 667 beds to the student-housing system. The development was complete with a micro spa, fitness center, recreation and gaming room, as well as an outdoor pool and sundeck.
The success of 1201 Indiana helped to pave the way for Trinitas to venture beyond the Midwest. The Collegiate follows in 1201 Indiana’s footsteps by packing luxury amenities more commonly associated with apartments and condominiums.
“The status quo for student housing has changed a lot, even while I was at college,” admits Aaron Smith, project engineer at Trinitas and project manager for The Collegiate. The property itself consists of six four-story buildings complete with an outdoor swimming pool and a standalone clubhouse for residents. The development adds 269 units ranging from one to four bedrooms each, totaling 690 beds. The residences have been styled after townhomes with private bathrooms for every bedroom, affording students an extra degree of privacy.
Leading with Luxury Amenities
The development’s shared 6,000-square foot clubhouse includes a spa, fitness center and recreation area adjacent to the pool, sundeck and outdoor basketball and sand volleyball courts. Two tanning beds are available to residents inside the building at no extra charge, as is wireless Internet, a massage chair, a 50-inch plasma screen high-definition television, a selection of game tables and a computer room with both PC and Mac computers.
The fully furnished apartments can be individually or jointly leased with all utilities included. All multitenant units come with in-suite washing machines and dryers, while roommate-matching services are also available. All units boast extra plush leather couches, full-size beds, roomy dressers, oversized closets and 9-foot ceilings so even the tallest of basketball players has enough space to stretch out.
The Collegiate provides a garbage disposal in every unit, as well as a recessed power outlet and cable jack in the living area for convenience, which allows residents to easily mount a flat-panel television to the wall. Residents can rest easy knowing the unit’s Energy Star appliances will help save on energy and water usage. In addition, refrigerators with icemakers ensure students never have to remember to fill plastic ice cube trays.
The project is being built by Trinitas’ sister company, Vizor Alderson, with a completion deadline set for August 2012. “When you build for schools, you simply have to have your deadlines set in stone,” asserts Smith. “We work really hard to continually assess our progress and put quality controls in place to ensure the entire team understands what is expected of them and can get out and perform every day.”
As Trinitas ventures farther away from its home base in Indiana, the company has opted to work with a combination of trusted subcontractors with established performance and local subcontractors with a strong reputation in Trinitas’ target markets. These partnerships will ensure that the company continues to uphold its competitive edge in the student-housing market, positioning Trinitas Ventures LLC to continue challenging the hallmarks and standards of student residences.
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