In the early 2000s, our founding partners, two of whom were working as corporate airline pilots, identified a real estate trend taking hold in the southeastern United States: purpose-built student housing. These residential properties were rich in both amenities and community appeal—and were not yet apparent in the Upper Midwest. An investment strategy was pioneered that focused on bringing purpose-built student housing to southern Minnesota and beyond.
Tailwind Group was created in 2005 by its four founding partners: Kyle Smith, Reggie Reed, Michael Sather, and Landon Smith. Their first ten years in operation were focused in Mankato, MN—where the corporate headquarters remain today. During that time, a portfolio of student rentals was built through acquisition of single-family homes, duplexes, and small apartment complexes. In 2010, Tailwind Group and Jon Kietzer developed and constructed its first purpose-built student housing project—College Town Mankato. This $20 million, 456-bedroom project was the first of its kind for Minnesota State University students, offering cottage style homes, private bedrooms and bathrooms, high-end finishes, outdoor pool, indoor hot tub, workout facility, free tanning, and common area study space. This development was a launching point of future growth and development for Tailwind Group in the student housing sector.