American Campus Communities Invests in DC Student Housing; Penzance Signs Naval Analysis Center in Clarendon

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor American Campus Communities Inc. has acquired full operational control of the 901-bed Varsity in College Park apartments. The Austin-based company paid $96.6 million for 79.5 percent of the existing entity that owns the Varsity. Completed last year [...]

American Campus Communities Inc. has acquired full operational control of the 901-bed Varsity in College Park apartments. The Austin-based company paid $96.6 million for 79.5 percent of the existing entity that owns the Varsity.

Completed last year by Potomac Holdings Development and Campus Suites, the $121.5 million building is one of the largest new student housing projects in the United States. It is located at 8150 Baltimore Ave., near the College Park Campus and features large, spacious, fully furnished luxury suites with granite countertops, bamboo flooring, washers and dryers and 40-inch flat-screen TVs.

The 400,000-square-foot mixed-use complex includes 23,000 square feet of fully leased student-oriented retail, a two-story fitness center, a business center, a game room, study lounges and an outdoor courtyard. The Varsity opened in August 2011 and is now 91 percent occupied.

American Campus Communities is the largest owner and manager of high-quality student housing communities in the nation. It owns 117 properties containing approximately 72,400 beds. The Varsity acquisition was part of a $208 million deal that also included the purchase of a 1,026-bed property in Austin for $86.2 million.

In other news, Penzance has signed the Center for Naval Analysis to anchor a planned $150 million development at 3001-3003 Washington Blvd. in Clarendon. The CNA will lease 175,000 square feet and will move into the new building upon completion, in early 2014. The project has received site plan approval from the Arlington County Board.

The 3001-3003 development is designed to LEED Silver standards and consists of a 10-story, 200,000-square-foot office building attached to an eight-story, 80,000-square-foot office building. It will also include 28,000 square feet of retail space and will feature a public plaza and sidewalk areas.

The CNA will be relocating its headquarters to Clarendon from its current location at 4825 Mark Center Drive in Alexandria. It will move 600 workers to the 10-story building under its 15-year lease.

Penzance has been developing the Clarendon site for several years. The CNA’s lease was just what the project needed to move forward. Construction will begin this spring.