ACC Starts Work on 3,200-Plus Student Housing Units

2 min read

Austin--American Campus Communities has broken ground on four different student housing projects in different states, representing a total development cost of $156.6 million.

Austin–American Campus Communities Inc. (ACC), an Austin-based REIT specializing in student housing, has broken ground on four different student housing projects in different states, all timed for completion by the start of the school year in the fall of 2012. All together, the four projects will contain 3,249 beds and represent a combined total development cost of about $156.6 million, according to ACC.

On the campus of Northern Arizona University, ACC is building 1,126 beds. The $60.6 million project will consist of two separate developments, a residence hall (550 beds) and a student townhome building (576 beds). The townhome product has bedroom/private bathroom apartment design, while the residence hall will feature a fitness center, theater, social lounge, business center and a plaza with 4,360 square feet of retail space.

Ar the University of New Mexico campus, ACC has started a 1,027-bed residence hall, the first traditional residence hall constructed on campus in over 45 years. The $39.4 million project will consist of four separate buildings each containing laundry and kitchen facilities, study rooms, and social lounges. The hall will also feature a community center that will offer a business lounge, recreational area and office space.

U Club on Frey, an off-campus development located within walking distance to Kennesaw State University in Georgia, will contain 456 beds and consist of a three-story, four-bedroom/four-and-half-bathroom townhome unit constructed on top of a four-bedroom/four-bathroom flat unit. At the heart of the $22.5 million project will be a 6,500 square-foot community center including a fitness center, game lounge, student lounge, wireless Internet café, patio and pool.

U Club Townhomes on Marion Pugh is a 640-bed off-campus development within walking and biking distance of Texas A&M University in College Station. The $34.1 million project will feature four-bedroom/four-bathroom townhome units. Its 7,560 square-foot community center will include a fitness center, game lounge, student lounge, wireless Internet café, patio and pool.

As if to demonstrate the overall strength of student housing, in May ACC reported strong quarterly earnings during the first quarter of 2011. Funds from operation (FFO), an important metric among REITs, more than doubled to $39.8 million in 1Q11, compared to the first quarter of 2010. Earnings per share were 54 cents for the quarter, a 32 percent increase compared with the same period a year earlier.

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