Core Spaces Buys Georgia Student Housing Portfolio

Webster Bank provided nearly $38 million in financing for the three-property, 626-bed acquisition.
Whistlebury

Core Spaces has paid $62.4 million for a three-property, 626-bed student housing portfolio in Athens, Ga., according to public records. Whistlebury Properties sold the three communities, and University Holdings brokered the deal. Webster Bank provided the buyer with a seven-year, $37.8 million acquisition loan.

The portfolio includes the 276-bed Whistlebury, the 206-bed Whistlebury Walk and the 144-bed Waterford Place. All three properties are located within half a mile of the University of Georgia, a short distance from downtown Athens.

Whistlebury, completed in 1999, is located at 85 and 86 North Ave. The pet-friendly community’s four-bedroom units span 10 buildings. Amenities include a fitness center, a business center, a clubhouse and two swimming pools.

Located at 325 Willow St., Whistlebury Walk has a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom units in seven buildings. Completed in 2002 and expanded in 2015, the property has a wide range of amenities including tanning beds, a fitness center and a swimming pool with a sundeck. 

Waterford Place is located at 393 Oconee St. The community consists of four-bedroom apartments, and amenities include a student center, a gym, tanning beds, a study lounge and a pool.

Taking a step forward

Waterford Place. Image via Google Street View

With some of the challenges of the past year beginning to abate, capital for student housing acquisitions has become more accessible for investors. However, at the same time, lenders have broadly begun requiring higher debt servicing.

Despite a steady deceleration during the pandemic, the sector’s rent growth has remained positive at 1.3 percent. A recent Yardi Matrix student housing report highlights some additional challenges, though: Preleasing for the fall 2021 semester hit 58.6 percent in April, 4.2 percent lower compared to the same time last year.