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Nov. 22, 2013

Campus Advantage Acquires Housing Near University of Missouri

The Domain Clubroom 1 thumbnailBy Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Columbia, Mo.—Student housing company Campus Advantage has acquired The Domain at Columbia, enabling the company to expand its presence within the fast-growing University of Missouri-Columbia student-housing market.

Located a mile from the flagship campus of the University of Missouri, The Domain at Columbia is comprised of eight three-story, garden-style buildings featuring a total of 228 units and 654 beds. During the 2013-14 academic year the community is 100 percent occupied, with a waiting list of would-be residents.

“The quality of the real estate and the market was the number one reason we were attracted to the investment,” Campus Advantage senior vice president of investments Michael Orsak tells MHN. “Campus Advantage has owned [and] managed a property in Columbia since 2008, and anticipated the opening of this property during the lease-up in order to acquire additional beds in the market.”

The Domain’s one-, two- and four-bedroom flats, as well as four-bedroom townhomes, offer private bathrooms, balconies, walk-in closets, flat-screen high-definition television with digital video recorder and Apple TV, wired and Wi-Fi Internet, full-size washers and dryers and 9-foot ceilings. Features and finishes include granite kitchen and bathroom countertops, stainless steel appliances, faux wood floors, track and pendant lighting and ceiling fans.

Best-in-market amenities include a resort-size swimming pool, full-size volleyball court, outdoor kitchen with grilling stations, poolside hammock area, two horseshoe pits and outdoor fire pit. The community’s 11,600-square-foot clubhouse offers a game room, state-of-the-art fitness center, full swing golf simulator, theater room, business center, private conference rooms, Internet café, stand-up tanning booth and Wi-Fi access throughout the property.

“This was actually the smoothest acquisition of the season, given our knowledge of the market and the property prior to acquisition,” Orsak says. “Our underwriting trued up during diligence, and we only picked up the phone to call the seller after signing the contract [once] we closed the property to say ‘congratulations.’”

Campus Advantage believes its ownership will mean an improved level of customer service as well as an enhanced experience, he adds.

“Our management philosophy is a bit different from the seller’s. We focus heavily on residence life programming—not just social programming, but also education, community outreach and personal and professional development. For example, in September we held a Webinar featuring Dan Schawbel, a bestselling author, to discuss career success and his book Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success. All of our properties participated, holding viewings at very one of our properties across the country. Additionally, we have increased the shuttle service at the property to include late-night service to downtown Columbia.”

Campus Advantage likes the acquisition’s upside. “The University of Missouri student housing market has tremendous potential to provide significant ROI, because the university is seeing its enrollment continue to grow,” Orsak says.

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