KAREA Acquires Three Student Housing Properties Near State Schools

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Armonk, N.Y.—Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors (KAREA), the private equity real estate arm of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, a specialist in student housing, has acquired three student housing properties. They are located in Baton Rouge, La.; East Lansing, Mich.; and Los Angeles.

The purchases bring Armonk, N.Y.-based KAREA’s student housing portfolio to a total of 15,816 beds and 5,371 units nationwide. KAREA’s real estate portfolio also contains 571 conventional multifamily units and 15,095 self-storage units.

Student housing is widely still considered “recession-resistant” as demand for such housing rises with enrollment, which (if anything) has been bolstered by the ravages of the economy. According to a recent report by the National Student Housing Council, an analysis of 56 universities showed an average growth rate of 20 percent for freshman applications for the fall of 2010 compared with the fall of 2008.

Large state universities in particular are benefitting from the college-enrollment boom. In the case of the KAREA acquisitions, all of them are close to large state schools with large student bodies and high demands for housing.

One acquisition is the Cottages of Baton Rouge, which is near Louisiana State University. The property is a new development combining townhouse-, lodge- and cottage-style units and consisting of 1,290 beds and 392 units. It’s the largest student-housing asset in the Baton Rouge market and includes such amenities as a clubhouse, fitness and business centers, a resort-style pool, sauna and steam rooms, tennis and bocce ball and volleyball courts.

The Lodges of East Lansing, located near Michigan State University, consists of 683 beds and 220 units. Its units are built in the more traditional vertical-style formulation, according to KAREA. Amenities include a fitness center and game room, as well as a dog walk, bocce and volleyball courts, winter ice skating rink and heated swimming pool, which will be open year-round.

West 27th Place, located near the University of Southern California, consists of 392 beds and 161 units and maintains fitness and business centers, a salt-water pool and structured parking. The property is LEED certified.

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