New Dev Header 1024x384 - Cardinal Group Focuses on Ground-Up Development with Karissa Schminky, Director of New Developments

DENVER, CO – October 23, 2023 – Cardinal Group Management (Cardinal) is excited to announce the addition of eight new development communities to our student housing portfolio, adding 3,730 beds to Cardinal’s management platform. These properties, including Chapter at Madison, Chapter at Eugene, Otto, and several private label communities represent a significant stride in enhancing our commitment to delivering top-tier housing experiences.

In August 2023, Karissa Schminky joined Cardinal to lead the New Development vertical. As an industry veteran, Karissa shares her outlook on the future of New Development in student and multifamily housing.

Tell us about your position at Cardinal
As the Director of New Developments, I’m engaged in every ground-up development, starting with pre-development underwriting and through the lease-up. My primary goal is to create a lease-up strategy that perfectly balances maximizing rent and velocity while setting the community up for continued success once stabilized.

Tell us about your experience in new development
I started leasing in 1996 and was entrusted with my first lease-up as a Property Manager in 2005. It was fast-paced, dynamic, and wildly challenging. I loved it! I’ve been involved in new developments ever since and have had the good fortune to see them from multiple perspectives – both as the VP of Marketing for management companies and the Director of Leasing for Gilbane Development. No matter how many I’ve done, I still find each one new and exciting.

Your position is new to Cardinal; how will adding your role help Cardinal grow strategically?
Our goal at Cardinal is to create a seamless experience for our clients who are bringing new properties to the market while optimizing every detail of the lease-up. My role brings additional, specialized focus to the New Development process. Building on the strength of our teams, systems, and processes already in place for our operating properties, this role allows Cardinal to have an equally robust platform specific for New Developments – one that’s proactive in its approach to the challenges of New Developments while capitalizing on their unique opportunities.

What are some trends you see in new developments for student housing?
Markets are kicking off leasing earlier and earlier. It isn’t just upperclassmen who know to act quickly to secure the best housing. We’re seeing first-year students move into their dorm and quickly head out to secure a spot for their Sophomore year. This sense of urgency has front-loaded a lot of our marketing efforts. In these early markets, we’re building brand recognition and marketing the property in the Spring and Summer before opening our temporary leasing office. It also means everything needed to launch leasing is in place and tuned up before students return for a new school year.

We’re fortunate to have many clients who recognize this trend and engage us early in New Developments. This synergy propels the lease-up.

What are some exciting new developments happening at Cardinal?
One of the things that I’m most excited about at Cardinal is CX3- Cardinal’s centralized services platform. CX3 gives our lease-ups a considerable leg up in fielding and nurturing inquiries well before our leasing office is staffed and open. Once our offices are open, centralized leasing means our teams can focus more heavily on outreach, taking care of students and parents in the office, and providing great service to our future residents.

Cardinal has made significant additions to its portfolio this year, can you tell us about these new properties?
It’s a really exciting time to be in New Development at Cardinal. We’re leasing up eight properties that will deliver in Fall 2024. The communities will serve students at Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Purdue, Berkley, University of Oregon, and two properties for the University of Wisconsin.

We’re also looking forward to 2024, which will be another big year for Cardinal lease-ups.

Cardinal Group is a recognized leader in student and multifamily housing, with an extensive management portfolio spanning 38 states, over 85,000 beds, and 44,000 units. Experience in both product types allows Cardinal to elevate new development services and offerings. The expertise in housing lease-ups has laid crucial foundations for creating an impactful new development community.

Cardinal excels in staying at the forefront of industry trends by emphasizing robust outreach marketing, a deep understanding of the evolving needs of prospective residents, and a continuous commitment to innovative social media and digital marketing strategies. The experience of leasing urgency for an entire academic year in student communities has equipped Cardinal operations to address the ever-changing demands of our diverse resident profile while creating a community in a largely multicultural environment. Our multifamily expertise, in turn, fosters a high-touch resident experience by accommodating resident needs in the way they search for an apartment and creating various customer service solutions for our student residents.

Cardinal is thrilled to have Karissa lead the New Development vertical. Her expertise will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of new development lease-ups and continued growth within the management portfolio.

About Cardinal Group Companies

Cardinal Group Companies (“CGC”) is a fully integrated real estate management, investment, construction, consulting, and marketing firm focused on multifamily and student housing throughout the country. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, CGC affiliate companies are all firmly built atop the company’s “Cardinal Culture.” Since 2007, CGC has been operating successful partnerships, focused on creating efficiency and above market performance via their commitment to challenging the status quo of the industry. To date, Cardinal Group Companies has developed several best-in-class initiatives, which have earned the company national recognition year after year. CGC’s management platform oversees nearly 85,000 student housing beds and nearly 44,000 total units across the U.S., including CGC’s owned portfolio and third-party managed properties.

To learn more about Cardinal Group Companies, please visit

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Cardinal Group

Ainsley Robinson