Champion Buys $65M Upstate New York Student Community

RRA/GREA’s National Student Housing Group brokered the transaction.

Syracuse University. Image courtesy of Rittenhouse Realty Advisors

An affiliate of Champion Real Estate Co. has paid $65 million for Campus Hill Apartments, a 715-bed community in Syracuse, N.Y., serving the students at Syracuse University. Managing Partner Ken Wellar and Student Housing Specialist Douglas Sitt of RRA/GREA’s National Student Housing Group represented the seller and procured the buyer in the transaction.

Set to be rebranded as Victory at Syracuse, as first reported by Student Housing Business, the property comprises 51 buildings and 267 fully furnished units with one- to nine-bedroom floorplans. The new owner plans to upgrade the community by enhancing the finishes with fresh paint and adding new cabinetry, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and vinyl plank flooring.

Located at 1201 Harrison St., the community is next to Thornden Park Pool and within half a mile of the Syracuse University campus. Upstate University Hospital and Central New York Medical Centre are less than a mile from the property. Various entertainment options in downtown Syracuse are within 1.5 miles of the property.

Student housing fundamentals

Despite a 6 percent year-over-year rent growth in December 2021, preleasing remained sluggish at Syracuse University, with only 20.6 percent preleased as of January 2022, 9.5 percent below the 2021 rate, the latest Yardi Matrix report shows. Nonetheless, the student housing sector continues to be one of the top-performing markets among asset classes, and investors are taking advantage of the cap rate arbitrage, mentioned Sitt in a prepared statement.

RRA/GREA has closed on $178 million in student housing transactions in the Northeast markets in the past months and more than $300 million in the first quarter of the year throughout the East Coast, Wellar said in prepared remarks.

Just recently, the company brokered the $41.7 million sale of The Hudson, a 780-bed property in Statesboro, Ga., on behalf of Vesper Holdings. Campus Apartments acquired the community.

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