Chicago Student Housing Tower Changes Hands

2 min read

University Center Chicago, acquired by AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets and Blue Vista Capital Management, totals 1,732 beds and is proximate to 22 universities.

By Keith Loria


A joint venture of AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets and Blue Vista Capital Management has acquired University Center Chicago, a 1,732-bed student housing property in Chicago’s South Loop submarket.

AXA IM – Real Assets has a 95 percent interest in the property while Blue Vista has the remaining 5 percent.

“We are pleased to enter into the new partnership with Blue Vista on this core-plus investment opportunity, as we follow through on our stated objective to continue expanding our North American portfolio, in line with our client’s goals,” Steve McCarthy, head of North America at AXA IM – Real Assets, said.

Located on South State Street, the property is nearby 22 universities, and is in walking distance to Grant Park, Lake Michigan and the city’s strong transport links.

“University Center Chicago enables us to gain a substantial foothold in the attractive U.S. student housing market, while the quality and prime location of this asset, in addition to its strong historical occupancy, really make it stand out as a unique investment opportunity,” McCarthy said. “Furthermore, our hands-on asset management approach in conjunction with our best-in-class joint venture partner’s operational expertise will allow us to aim to further maximize the value of this investment for the benefit of our clients.”

A look inside

Originally constructed in 2004, the 18-story student housing community contains 504 furnished residences with apartment and suite-style unit configurations. Amenities include a fitness center, computer lab, dining and conference facilities, game room, bike storage and a nearly 20,000-square-foot outdoor terrace. Additionally, the property offers 24-hour security, high-speed internet, laundry facilities, and study rooms.

The property also boasts nearly 28,004 square feet of street-level retail space and has nine current high-quality tenants, with two more expected to take occupancy by year end.

Blue Vista, along with affiliate Peak Campus, will provide asset and property management services.

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