The Preiss Co. Makes Oklahoma Student Housing Debut

Low supply and high occupancy drove investor interest.

Aspen Heights Norman. Image courtesy of CBRE

The Preiss Co. has acquired Aspen Heights Norman, a 684-bed cottage-style student community in Norman, Okla. CBRE arranged the transaction on behalf of the seller, a partnership between Safanad and Aspen Heights.

In 2016, the former owners received a $38.6 million CMBS loan. Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co. provided the loan set to mature in 2026.

Located at 1300 Steamboat Way, the community is roughly 2 miles from the University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus. A Walmart is located adjacent to the property, while several parks are also within walking distance.

Aspen Heights Norman encompasses 148 buildings on 26.2 acres. The buildings include a mix of two- to five-bedroom units, ranging from 1,284 to 2,117 square feet. All units have private bathrooms and washers and dryers. Residents have access to a clubhouse with a gym, media room, study lounge, swimming pool, volleyball court, dog park and grilling area.

Attractive market

There are no new student housing properties under development in Norman, Yardi Matrix data shows. Students at the University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus are currently served by 11 communities, offering a total of 2,584 units.

The lack of new development, coupled with a high occupancy rate—97 percent—is what made the property appealing, Casey Schaefer, senior vice president at CBRE, said in a prepared statement.

The acquisition marks The Preiss Co.’s first foray into the state. The company’s portfolio encompasses properties across 14 states, with the majority of student housing assets located in Texas and the Carolinas.

Just recently, The Preiss Co. expanded its Texas footprint with the acquisition of The Cottages at Lubbock, an 847-bedroom student housing community located less than 1 mile from the Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

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