Muinzer JV Buys Knoxville Student Housing Asset

The company plans to invest $500 million in assets around top universities.

University Park

A joint venture of Muinzer and T2 Capital Management has acquired University Park, a 720-bed student housing community in Knoxville, Tenn., serving students at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. A JLL team, including Scott Clifton and Chris Carroll, arranged the transaction on behalf of the buyer.

According to data from Yardi Matrix, the property previously traded in 2016 when QR Capital acquired it from SCI Real Estate Investment. In 2019, Qr Capital refinanced the asset with a $22 million loan from Provident Bank. 

Located east of the Tennessee River at 301 Lippencott St., University Park offers 192 units within 2 miles of the university campus and downtown Knoxville. The property was fully leased at the time it changed hands.

The 1995-built community encompasses 16 three-story buildings sitting on more than 26 acres. Floorplans consist of two- and four-bedroom apartments, ranging from 764 to 1,220 square feet. All units include washers and dryers as well as high speed internet. Residents have access to a swimming pool, gym, volleyball and basketball court, clubhouse and 290 parking spaces.

This is the partnership’s second acquisition in the Knoxville university market. In September, the companies joined forces to acquire The Heights at Knoxville, a 636-bed student community some 4 miles from the university campus. Muinzer plans to acquire $500 million worth of student housing assets in major university markets.

High demand, limited supply

A total of 31,701 students enrolled in the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in the 2021-2022 academic year, up 3.7 percent compared to the 30,559 number recorded last year, according to data from the university. The school also welcomed 5,948 first-year students, up from last year’s 5,512 enrollments.

The growing number of students is putting a strain on the limited on-campus accommodation supply and the university has resorted to a “lottery system” for bedrooms, according to a recent KnoxNews article.

The off-campus offering is also limited. With no new communities under development, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville market has roughly 2,600 units across 18 student-dedicated properties, Yardi Matrix data shows. Unsurprisingly, the accommodation increased by more than 3 percent in the 2020-2021 academic year compared to the previous term, reaching $11,856, according to data from the National Council of Education Statistics.

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