Tailwind Group capitalizes on real estate opportunities in acquisition, development and management. We identify underserved and undervalued markets that have a strong college or university population and lack of a robust commercial presence. We are unconventional thinkers who cannot and will not be out-hustled by any competitor.

Our Story

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.

Tailwind Group develops College Town Mankato in 2010
Tailwind acquires T-H-E Griff in 2018

By 2016, Tailwind Group had become a household name in southern Minnesota for its rapid growth and development of residential, commercial, and retail spaces.  Its first acquisition outside of Minnesota was a purpose-built student housing community in Cedar Falls, IA.  After that acquisition, Tailwind Group experienced a period of exponential growth that saw its bedroom count rise from 2,500 to more than 8,000 within a few short years. At the same time, Tailwind Group’s corporate support team increased from four partners to 25 professionals; the company’s property management team quadrupled from 30 full-time employees to more than 120. This rapid growth and expansion have given us the opportunity to expand into reputable college towns such as Tuscaloosa, AL, Columbus, OH, Iowa City, IA, and East Lansing, MI.

Over the last fifteen years, Tailwind Group has earned a stellar reputation for pioneering new standards in purpose-built student housing—and for meeting or exceeding investor returns on all legacy properties. Today, Tailwind Group and its entities provide asset management services for more than 30 properties across the United States, generating annual revenues in excess of $50 million. With more than $550 million in assets under management and a solid track record of successful projects, Tailwind Group is recognized as a national provider of real estate investment opportunities.

As Tailwind Group continues to build upon its past successes, all signs point to a rewarding future.

Our History

  • 2005
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2019
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • Establishes Tailwind Group

    Kyle Smith, Reggie Reed, Michael Sather, and Landon Smith come together to establish Tailwind Group’s leadership team.

  • Acquires College Station

    Tailwind Group acquires, renovates, and rebrands College Station at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Increases monthly revenues by $32,000 and occupancy from 80% to 99% within 12 months. Sells property for $10.8 million in 2016, returning $5.5 million in total proceeds over the life of the investment.

  • Develops and Constructs College Town

    Tailwind Group develops and constructs College Town at Minnesota State University, Mankato. This $20 million, 456-bedroom complex was the first of its kind for the area; boasting high-end cottages and amenities. From 2010 to today, College Town’s rental revenue has grown from $205,000/month to $250,000/month.

  • Downtown Mankato Redevelopment

    Tailwind Group completes a full city block redevelopment in the heart of downtown Mankato. This project included a 7-story, Class A office building branded Profinium Place; a 5-story, Class A office building branded Ridley Tower; and a 5-story, mixed use building branded Block 518. The total block redevelopment cost was approximately $50 million. This project was a catalyst for new development and growth in the downtown area.

  • Launches Flagship Student Housing Brand

    Tailwind Group launches its flagship “Quarters” student housing brand with the development and construction of The Quarters at Mankato. This 496-bedroom, garden style apartment complex would serve as the template for future Tailwind Group growth and expansion in the student housing sector.

  • Redevelopment Project in Iowa City

    Tailwind Group completes a redevelopment project in Iowa City, IA—its largest student housing project to date—The Quarters at Iowa City. This $65 million project includes an 892-bedroom complex with two resort style pools, outdoor hot tub, game room, workout facility, free tanning, indoor basketball and racquetball, indoor golf simulator, private study areas, free shuttle service to the University of Iowa.

  • Acquires University Mills

    Tailwind Group acquires University Mills in Cedar Falls, IA and rebrands to The Quarters at Cedar Falls. Since acquisition, occupancy has risen from 89% to 99% and rents have increased by 2.5% per year.

  • Acquires Ville Montee

    Tailwind Group acquires Ville Montee in East Lansing, MI. Its first major rehab project, Tailwind Group completed a $10 million renovation and rebranded to The Quarters at East Lansing. After stabilization, rental revenues have grown from $135,000/month to $240,000/month—a staggering 177% increase.

  • Expands Student Housing Portfolio

    Tailwind Group continues to expand its student housing portfolio by acquiring, developing, or rehabbing properties in Ames, IA; Columbus, OH; Laramie, WY; West Lafayette, IN; and Bloomington, IN.

  • Acquires Student Housing Property in Alabama

    Tailwind Group acquires a student housing property, The Grand at Rum Creek in Tuscaloosa, AL, the first property outside of the midwest.

  • Completes Construction on The Quarters at Vermillion

    Tailwind Group completes construction on a 169 unit student housing property, The Quarters at Vermillion, in Vermillion, SD.

  • Develops Buildings for PrairieCare

    Tailwind Group develops and constructs two buildings for PrairieCare Medical Group—these locations in Mankato, MN and Rochester, MN total 62,000 square feet and bring our total commercial square footage to 480,000.

  • Acquires Student Housing Property in Oklahoma

    Tailwind Group acquires a student housing property, Progress405, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This off-campus complex was built in 2016 and is home to many Oklahoma State University students. The property consists of a mixture of 1BR, 2BR, and 4BR units, totaling 544 bedrooms.