Whistler ATL exterior

The Student Housing Sinatra Test: How Whistler Did It ‘My Way’ in Atlanta  

You know the Sinatra Test even if you’ve never heard of it. As Frank Sinatra says, “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.”

For student housing developers in 2023, the Midtown Atlanta market surrounding Georgia Tech was the ultimate Sinatra Test.

The market was ripe for development, but several developers were getting in on the action. The students desperately needed more housing, but as savvy shoppers they were looking for substance, not just flash. The amenities arms race was in full swing, but were these the amenities that students wanted and needed?

In Atlanta, the lease up for Fall 2023 was sink or swim. One new development stood out from the rest.

Whistler introduced a new standard for student housing in Atlanta, wooing students, wowing the industry, outperforming proforma, and making a splash in the press.

lobby reality

Growth + Demand = Opportunity + Competition

Whistler, a 565-bed, 25-story tower opened in August 2023 during a time of unprecedented growth for both Georgia Tech and Midtown Atlanta.

Georgia Tech reported record high undergraduate enrollment in Fall 2023, and that growth is only expected to continue with the planned addition of 400,000 square feet of research and collaboration space by 2026. This continued growth is a catalyst for increased housing demand in Midtown.

The market was full of opportunity. It was prime for development. And LV wasn’t the only developer on the scene. Whistler was entering a market that had seen 3,405 beds (51% of inventory) hit the market since 2019, and with another 792 beds on track to deliver alongside Whistler in Fall 2023.

To succeed in this competitive market, Whistler needed to stand out from the noise, and make a name for itself. It did so in three key ways:

  • Seamlessly integrating into the neighborhood
  • Curating amenities designed specifically for Georgia Tech students
  • Delivering a level of design previously unseen in the market

Whistler pool

In The Heart of Midtown

In the heart of Atlanta’s Midtown Innovation District, Whistler sits where education, innovation, and creativity overlap. Steps from campus, it’s surrounded by retail and restaurants, and provides easy access to Tech Square’s prominent corporate offices. Georgia Tech students intermingle with professionals working in world-class incubators, accelerators and tech hubs.

Daydreamer, Whistler’s ground floor cafe, is a microcosm of this innovative neighborhood. It provides a space for organic interaction and cross-collaboration between students and professionals. A Whistler resident grabbing his morning coffee bumps into the hiring manager for his internship who popped in for a matcha. Tech research students strike up a conversation with an entrepreneur, interested in their line of work.

daydreamer at whistler atlanta

At Whistler, connections are made, innovation is cultivated, and our residents are poised to prosper.

Read more about LV’s hospitality concepts.

Redefining Student Spaces  

You might suspect you’ve accidentally stumbled into a spread from Architectural Digest, not a student housing project, when you walk in Whistler’s front door. Inspired by the deep-roots of Atlanta’s music and soulful culture, the warm, vintage-inspired lobby, layered with plants, cozy furniture and eclectic décor, raises spirits, drops jaws, welcomes you in and invites you to stay a while.

Where other developers line the walls with school-spirited colors and murals, Whistler showcases hand selected art and custom-designed elements like the striking staircase and custom light fixtures which bring a whimsical addition to the ambiance. Coffee table books, lamps, pillows, decor and lush surroundings make Whistler feel like an extension of home, rather than a cookie-cutter commercial property.

And LV didn’t stop at the aesthetic alone. A curated playlist and signature scent engage the senses, elevating the experience and evoking emotion.

Whistler’s elevated design gives students a sense of what it’s like to live life beyond college, inviting them into the young professional lifestyle they aspire to live.

clubroom reality
whistler study space architectural

Activated Amenities  

With an amenities arms race underway in Atlanta, Whistler did it its own way.

At many student apartments, you’ll find unused club rooms, zen-less yoga studios, and courtyards that crave community. Take a tour of Whistler and experience the difference. Amenities are full of energy – and residents.

Whistler’s amenities are designed to support mental and physical health by encouraging residents to leave their apartments, spend time in community and build relationships.

Take Whistler’s study floor which was designed with studious Tech students in mind. Complete with private study spaces, collaborative conference rooms and a state-of-the-art content creation room, you’ll find spaces designed for every style of study, all within the same line of sight, allowing for perceived privacy and intimacy, while still feeling connected and immersed in the larger public space.

Whistler’s 25th floor is dedicated to fitness which includes cardio and weightlifting equipment, yoga and spin studios, a sauna and incredible views of the Atlanta skyline. The resort-worthy 24th-floor deck features a glass-walled infinity pool and hot tub.

By activating the top two floors of the building with these amenities, the best views from the building are accessible to all residents and not limited to just the highest-paying residents.


students talking in whistler lobby
cozy conversation nook at whistler
student residents doing yoga at whistler
student residents eating at their kitchen island at whistler
whistler atlanta gym

Setting the Bar

Whistler’s design, amenities and location were brought to life through a compelling and engaging marketing strategy, which included a brand ambassador program that drove 45% of leases.

Whistler achieved 98% pre-leasing prior to delivery and is tracking to achieve double-digit rent growth for 2024-2025. Urbanize Atlanta declared the project to have “set the bar for posh student living in Atlanta.”

Whistler’s carefully curated design brought a new level of sophistication to the Midtown neighborhood. It offered Georgia Tech students a lifestyle that was unmatched and set a new standard for student living in the Atlanta market and across the country.

daydreamer seating area reality

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