Student Property in Greensboro Sold

Spring Place Apartments in Greensboro, near UNCG, was sold to a Chicago-based real estate investment company that specializes in student housing. From an article in the Triad Business Journal:

A large Triad student apartment community has sold for $23.15 million, according to records with the Guilford County Register of Deeds.

OC Ventures, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm specializing in student housing, bought Spring Place Student Apartments at 3610 Clifton Road in Greensboro, near UNC-Greensboro, through 3610 Clifton Road Associates LLC. The sale was recorded in Guilford County April 8…

Built in 2009, Spring Place has 164 units on 13.2 acres. 

NC A&T to Buy Part of Campus Evolution Villages

Facing a shortage of beds for its growing student population, North Carolina A&T University is planning to buy a portion of Campus Evolution Villages. Here are some details from a Greensboro News & Record article about the deal:

Specifically, A&T expects to purchase nine three-story buildings that can house 360 students. The university has leased these apartments for each of the past two years — and was planning to do so again this fall — because of a shortage of campus housing.

A&T officials declined to disclose a purchase price because the deal is still being negotiated and isn’t expected to close until June…

Like several of A&T’s newer residence halls, the apartment buildings will be owned by the N.C. A&T Real Estate Foundation. One of the roles of the foundation, A&T’s nonprofit charitable arm, is to buy and develop property for the university. The new apartments will be leased to students through the university’s housing office.

Campus Crossing Bought by New York Firm

Campus Crossing Apartments, a 297-unit student community near UNC Greensboro, was purchased by Vesper Holdings LLC for $36.5 million and is being rebranded as Sherwood Forest Apartments. Details from an article in the Triad Business Journal:

According to Vesper, it will make a complete renovation/rebranding of Sherwood Forest with $1.8 million in capital expenditures, including renovation of the units and amenities, as well as extensive enhancements to the property’s exteriors and substantial technology upgrades throughout the complex.

Vesper said it ranks as one of the top 10 student housing owners in the country with a portfolio worth more than $1 billion. Vesper subsidiary Campus Life & Style manages its properties…

The signage on the exterior of the buildings has yet to be changed.

Burkely Buys Greensboro Student Properties

PTAA member Burkely Communities has continued to expand its student housing portfolio with the purchase of four properties in Greensboro. From a Triad Business Journal article:

Burkely’s Spartan Student Apartments LLC purchased Chancellor Park Apartments, Sterling Park Apartments, Spartan Crossing Apartments and Spartan Square Apartments.

Burkely paid $9.86 million for 24-unit Chancellor Park and 36-unit Sterling Park; $5.1 million for 40 units at Spartan Crossing; and $1.175 million for 12-unit Spartan Square.

Burkely bought Chancellor Park and Sterling Park from GBORO AG UNCG LLC, an entity of United Student Housing of New York City. Burkely bought the Spartan Crossing units from Greensboro’s Granwood Properties LLC and acquired Spartan Square from a separate LLC made up of Granwood members.

Snapchat for Marketing Student Housing

For those of us of a certain age the whole Snapchat thing is a bit confusing. We try it and…we don’t get it. On the other hand there are lots of people, usually younger than yours truly, who DO get Snapchat and property managers, especially in the student housing space, are taking notice.

The most recent issue of Units Magazine has an article about marketers using Snapchat. Here’s an excerpt:

Rob Dinwiddie, Landmark Properties, and Barrie Nichols, University Student Living are effectively driving their brands and select community messages through timely images on Snapchat based on paid geo-targeting filters being deployed during key campus dates such as move-ins and social events.

“We created Snapchat filters with custom graphics for each of our communities,” Nichols says. “Coupled with geo-targeting that is based on popular events such as housing fairs, orientations and libraries during exam finals weeks, the results were phenomenal. Popular among students and cost effective, this form of digital marketing proved to be extremely successful. We will continue to build brand awareness and provide interaction opportunities with our target market during key times and events.”

Nichols says these also were used to launch new developments through table tents on campus, local businesses and at events.

“The evolution of this platform has been incredible,” she says. “When we started using Snapchat to communicate with students three years ago, companies were hesitant to see this as an engagement source. Now, there are more people who added us to their Snapchat accounts during targeted events than any other form of social media.”

You really should read the full article as it’s full of great info about the use of Snapchat and other evolving technologies in the student housing sector.

The School at Spring Garden Changing With the Times

PTAA board member Amanda Williams was recently interviewed about her company’s planned upgrades for its The School at Spring Garden property. From the article:

BSC Holdings has operated The School at Spring Garden since 1995, when college students typically wanted apartments with four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Students now want private space in smaller apartments, often a one-bedroom, one-bath place or at most, two bedrooms with two bathrooms, said Amanda Williams, vice president of BSC Holdings.

So the company will soon begin gutting original four-bedroom units and reconfiguring the apartments in the historic Pomona High School so it can keep attracting students from UNC-Greensboro…

The plan is to break up 59 apartments and increase the number to 80 smaller units when the process is complete over several years.

The proposed project requires a rezoning so BSC Holdings is currently working with the city planning department and meeting with the Lindley Park Neighborhood Association to make sure they support the rezoning when it goes before the zoning commission and city council.

Two Greensboro Properties Sold for $11.3 Million

According to this article in the Triad Business Journal, Atlanta-based St. Clair Holdings has acquired two apartment communities near UNCG:

St. Clair Holdings acquired The Park at Greensboro at 2119 Spring Garden St. from 2119 Greensboro LLC for nearly $6.5 million and The Collegiate Courtyard at 1000 Bitting St. from Collegiate Greensboro LLC for $4.8 million…

Both The Park and Collegiate Courtyard, located within a stone’s throw of one another, are four-building, 48-unit communities.

If you do the math it looks like The Park at Greensboro sold for $135,000/unit and The Collegiate Courtyard sold for $100,000/unit.

Student Housing Providers Adding Corporate Sponsored Perks

As the father of three (three!) college kids I can vouch for the fact that their housing is far different – as in superior – than anything we had back in the dark days of the ’80s. According to this article in the Wall Street Journal their amenities are only getting better:

Big student-housing landlords are joining forces with corporate marketers to ramp up the services they provide to the nation’s 20 million college students.

Many students arriving at their new student apartments this fall are being greeted by corporate promotions ranging from concert invitations to discounts on Uber rides.

The deals typically are structured with little money exchanged between the landlords and companies, although in some cases the landlords pay for the products or services…

Students planning to live this fall at 4th Street Commons, off-campus housing near Florida International University in Miami, got emails with $20 discount codes for Uber Technologies Inc. They also will be able to ride a bike free for up to two hours using the Zagster bike-sharing service, and go to free concerts through a partnership with Interscope Records.

All of this comes at very little cost to the landlord, Florida-based Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors, which owns 20,000 student-housing beds around the country.

Of course not all student housing providers are into having these types of partnerships, partly because they aren’t confident they know what will resonate with the students:

While landlords have been under increasing pressure to attract tenants as supply swells, some said they are skeptical of corporate partnerships. That is partly because middle-aged real-estate company executives have little sense of the products a 20-year-old student might consider cool.

I totally get that. I’d wonder why they weren’t excited by a $10 gift card from Cracker Barrel.

How to Survive Turn Season (Hint: A Happy Parent Is a Happy Life)

It’s turn season in student housing and NAA’s just in time with a nice “how-to” for surviving it. Here’s a taste:

1. Turn Season.

You can’t have a student housing move-in without the hectic season of turn first! Prepare, prepare, prepare and do your best to make it fun so your team can thrive during these crucial weeks before residents move in.

Isn’t this getting little-to-no sleep thing fun?!

2. Move-In Logistics.

Since move-in day is often one big day for student housing, everything must be just right to keep the check-in process smooth and organized. Create a game plan and lay out your logistics well in advance to ensure the day goes smoothly for everyone involved.

Because a happy parent is a happy life.

Take from a parent of three(!) college kids, that last sentence is spot on.

– See more at: http://www.naahq.org/read/aptly-spoken-blog/down-and-dirty-turn-season#sthash.KZy9CvUJ.dpuf

Proposed Apartment Development Targeted at Wake Forest Students

Developer Mike Kelley is proposing to build an 88-unit student housing community he’s calling Deacon Place on 11 acres within walking distance of the Wake Forest University campus:

Plans filed with the City-County Planning Board indicate the development would include 88 total units, with 76 four-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units, along with a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse and 1,800-square-foot pool.

“The intent is to provide students with a housing choice that offers ample green space and amenities such as a clubhouse and pool for recreational use while offering a campus-like feeling to the property,” according to the purpose statement included with the plans.

Other potential amenities include sand volleyball courts, an outdoor putting green, cafe seating at the pool, outdoor grilling areas with fire pits and a “hammock hangout area and a study great room,” the plans indicate.

The plans will require the rezoning of three parcels and the case is scheduled to be heard at the August 13, 2015 meeting of the planning board.