Rentals

Ambling University Development Group rebrands itself with positivity in mind

New identity won't change the company's direction, but will portray the image it's striving toward

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Ambling University Development Group, which has been in business for more than two decades helping to provide student housing and multifamily developments in 21 states, recently announced its new brand and name: RISE: A Real Estate Company.

RISE stands for “reasonable and reliable, inspired and impactful, serve and simplify, experienced and empowering.” While the company has clarified that this rebranding isn’t going to change the way it works, it is helping to portray the image the company has been striving toward.

“Over the last couple of years at Ambling University Development Group, we reinvigorated our market-rate, conventional off-campus student platform, and today it is 50 percent or a bit more of our overall business,” said RISE President Greg Blais.

“So we started studying the name. While it’s a mouthful, it was also often challenging because people misconstrued us to be a university. People would ask us how many students we had, and so it became a challenge that we finally hit head-on. And it was easier to hit head-on when our business was diversifying.”

RISE is a three-pronged business centered around financing, development and management. In the development stage, RISE works from inception of a project to ensure that goals are being properly met, with services including programmatic design concepts, site analysis and design, parking analysis, permitting and entitlement, and more.

The management services and solutions include reporting, professional development and training, and integrated residence life programs.

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The company worked with consultants out of Atlanta to assist in the rebrand, which began last October. Blais said the name RISE wasn’t necessarily an easy decision to make and didn’t even make it to the top of the list during the renaming process, but in the end, he said the vibe and energy of RISE helps to portray what the company is trying to do in the community.

“Our mission is the same as when we were AUDG, but I think now our name articulates it more clearly. It is simply this: To improve lives, to impact people positively, one person at a time. And we’re going to do this through our relationships, our developments and our property management team. We want our residents to have a positive memory working with us,” Blais said.

To date, the company has overseen the development of more than 70 projects in 21 states, which comprise 15 million square feet of properties. About a week before the official rebranding of RISE, the company closed on a partnership and began construction at Western Carolina University for an on-campus mixed-use project with 421 beds and just under 12,000 square feet of retail space.

Up next: RISE will continue with four projects that are expected to close and begin construction before the end of 2015.

RISE has so far received positive feedback from the community, its industry peers and university partners. Blais believes this is just another step in its journey to provide to higher education markets in the nation.

“What comes with this name change is just that. It’s a change in name. Culture, which we hold so dear, is not changing. The way we do business is not changing. The people with whom we have been doing business over the years is not changing.

“We are the same folks that people have come to know and hopefully enjoyed working with throughout the years.”

Email Kimberly Manning.