Cost PSF of Mid-Rise Construction?

3 Replies

What is the ballpark cost to build a multistorey building (say 3-5 floors) vs. a single story building? Been considering building a group of 4bed/4bath detached units for student housing, but I'm wondering about the feasibility of building larger units instead. Obviously there's less slab and roof, but I'm unfamiliar with this type of construction and unsure of costs beyond that. Just looking for a general idea so I'll know whether the option is worth considering.
@Andrew Taylor Multi-level has its advantages but also disadvantages. You've already hit on some of the advantages. Disadvantaged to be aware of include fire and life safety, increase in structural support, difficulty in construction logistically. Your best bet is meet with a local GC. Similar to real estate, construction is very regional. I would argue it is more regional-specific than real estate. It's easy to research values in different markets. It's difficult to research cost of concrete, earthwork, accessibility and quantities of workforce that are so detrimental to their region. Only somebody with boots on the ground can provide that info, not Google or other access. If you wanted a cheat to just see ballpark cost, look at regional new developments that sold with similar attributes you desire. Find the $/SF and assume the developer made 20% on top. Figure out their land basis, subtract it and that'll give you a figure for soft costs, hard costs and development fees. That'll give you a good building basis.

I'm a local GC :). But I've spent 20 years doing single-family residential, not light commercial. That's why I was looking for a ballpark.

@Andrew Taylor It sounds like you are talking about 5+ units, basically a small apartment complex.  My experience is in 2-4 unit building, primarily in duplex houses.  Based on my experience, a two story duplex costs me 5-10% less than a single story duplex, on a $/sf basis (basically savings in the roofing and foundation, a bit more for framing due to the second story).  You will have a much bigger jump in costs once you go over 2 units due to the change in building code (going from IRC to IBC), which brings in all the costly fire and life saving stuff.  For me, I see an increase of 25-30% on a $/sf basis when going past 2 units.

It hope it goes without saying that building multifamily 2+ is always going to be more $/sf due to the separate utilities, extra kitchens, etc.