EdR discusses new dorms with North Wind

Lindsey Eaton

Lindsey Eaton

North Wind Staff

Mark Grambergs, EdR vice president of Real Estate Development and EdR developer on the NMU project, and Amy Bilodeau, community manager of The Woods held a question-and-answer session via email from Aug. 28, 2017 to Sept. 5, 2017 with Davon Lanier from the North Wind.

From Amy Bilodeau, Community Manager of The Woods:

DL: What role will EdR’s community management team have in the day-to-day function of The Woods at Northern Michigan University?

AB: Our team’s primary responsibility is partnering with the university to oversee The Woods’ daily maintenance and operational needs—including responding to work orders, performing preventative maintenance tasks and supporting day to day operations for students living in The Woods.

DL: What sort of interaction will EdR personnel have with NMU students or staff?

AB: Our goal is to have a positive and cohesive relationship with students and staff. We want our staff to be available and approachable to students so that they feel
comfortable coming to us for any questions or concerns they have. If we can help contribute to Housing’s mission to support student learning inside and outside of the classroom, and to help build strong house communities, it’ll be a success for our team.

DL: Will there still be residential advisors and directors hired by NMU working in The Woods or will there just be EdR staff?

AB: The student resident
advisors, professional live-in staff, and the resident directors, will still be employed by NMU. Housing and Residence Life commits an incredible amount of time and energy to selecting and training their resident advisors and resident director staff. We are excited to partner with these staff members to make living on campus at NMU a meaningful experience. 

From Mark Grambergs, EdR VP of Real Estate Development and EdR developer on the NMU project:

: Can you describe the On Campus Equity Plan or the One Plan Program and how that relates to our campus in particular?

MG: The university will own the buildings. EdR will manage, operate and maintain the
buildings. The university will get a portion of the student rental income. EdR is paid for
construction and management of the buildings through student rentals. The new residence halls will use the universities IT services that will provide seamless integration for students.

DL: How do you suppose the modernization of our housing units will affect
recruitment and retention numbers, and can you provide an example of the effects from another university that underwent the same makeover?

MG: We’ve built more than 6,800 new beds at the University of Kentucky, which has
completely transformed its campus. Since 2013 (when the first phase of new housing was delivered), Kentucky has seen its enrollment grow by approximately 1,500 students, the average ACT score of incoming freshmen has gone up, the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled has gone up and the retention rates have increased. I would expect that with this housing, NMU will be able to attract more students and a better quality of student just like UK. 

DL: What was the point of contact between NMU and EdR, or who sought out who to get the ball rolling for this project?

MG: Like most public universities, NMU issued a public Request For Proposals for new housing. We created a plan, gave presentations and had several meetings with a committee of university personnel. EdR was selected by that committee.

DL: Why did EdR choose to invest roughly $75 million at a school like NMU and what sort of relationship will the real estate developers maintain with the university after development?

MG: The numbers of the deal worked out and partnering with NMU gives EdR a greater
presence in the Midwest. Other Midwestern schools will be able to see the transformation at NMU first hand and hopefully partner with EdR for their own student housing needs.

DL: Are there any other housing projects that can be expected to come from this relationship between NMU and EdR?

MG: Anything beyond the current three phase plan is up to NMU, but we are proud to be NMU’s partner and would gladly work with them again in the future.

DL: Would you like to add anything else on behalf of EdR?

MG: The unit doors at The Woods automatically close as required by local fire codes.

More information about the NMU housing project can be found at www.nmu.edu/housing/new-residence-hall-communities.

To find out more about the  P3 between EdR and NMU go to