Student Housing: Prime Seeks Offer on $50M Student Portfolio

By Robert Carr for GlobeSt

NORTHBROOK, IL-Locally-based Prime Property Investors Ltd. wants to cash out with a few properties, as well as provide funds to diversify its multifamily portfolio. The company has hired Holliday Fenoglio Fowler to market 15 student housing properties in three states, for a total of more than 1,000 units.

Michael Zaransky with Prime says that these properties, around four separate colleges, represent one-third of the firm’s $150 million student housing portfolio. Included in the for-sale group are three separate properties at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN; the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE; and Bradford Oaks near Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. The other 12 properties are scattered around the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, IN. The portfolio is 100% leased, Zaransky says.

Prime wants to sell for two reasons, he tells “We’re at a point where we want to liquidate part of our funds for investors,” Zaransky says. “Also, we want to expand our conventional multihousing portfolio, specifically in the suburban Chicago area.” He says the firm is top heavy with student housing, with only about $45 million invested in multifamily properties.

Reasons for the Chicago area include the demographics, and lack of new product, Zaransky says. “Unlike in the city, where there’s certain pockets that are overbuilt, in the suburban market there’s good demand and growth opportunities. We’re seeing that in properties we already own,” he says.

The student housing market, like the entire multifamily market, is on fire, at least in comparison with other product types. This success has encouraged capital, with debt available for quality projects. “We’re expecting a big appetite and multiple bidders, including from firms that are new to the market and looking to diversify,” Zaransky says.


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