Urban-Infill Student Housing under Construction in Richmond

The Collegiate, a 269-unit student-housing community in Richmond, will combine large-unit designs and townhouse style with the vibrancy and convenience of urban living.

Starting with the fall semester of 2012, students attending Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond will be able to avail themselves of a new elective in housing. The Collegiate, a 269-unit, 690-bed student-housing community, will be situated in the heart of downtown Richmond, just a half mile north of VCU’s Monroe Park campus. It will combine large-unit designs and townhouse-style lifestyle with all the vibrancy and convenience of urban living.

Student housing and mixed-use community developer Trinitas Ventures LLC teamed with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital (HSRE) to provide equity financing, while PNC Bank, NA delivered the construction financing.

Trinitas Ventures is a privately held West Lafayette, Ind. company that finances, develops, constructs and manages high-quality student housing at some of the nation’s most prominent universities. The company has $150 million in student-housing assets under ownership and management, with an additional $70 million in student housing currently under construction.

The Collegiate’s wide array of amenities for students will include a 6,274 square-foot clubhouse featuring a recreation area, spa and fitness center. The development will offer residents numerous opportunities to break from studies, its amenities including a courtyard with a basketball court, sand volleyball court, pool and sundeck. The Collegiate is slated to open in August 2012.

This is the second Trinitas/HSRE infill development, and 13th investment for the recently established Harrison Street Real Estate Partners Fund III. When HSRE partnered with Trinitas, The Collegiate was precisely the type of investment it envisioned, says Brian Thompson, HSRE’s senior vice-president.

“This strategy of building out infill, higher-density sites is critical to our broader strategy within the education space,” he adds.

“In today’s environment, all financing is more difficult to obtain than it was in the mid-2000s,” says Travis Vencel, director of site acquisition and planning for Trinitas Ventures. “But we were able to put together a package that was attractive to both PNC and us. We have a long track record of constructing quality housing in markets where we can get a good return. We’d looked for quite a while at VCU, and finally found the right place to do the right thing.”

The construction loan provided by PNC Bank is its third in four years for a Trinitas Ventures-developed student-housing project. Trinitas appreciates and values strategic partners like PNC and HSRE, which grasp both student housing and the value creation it provides, says Loren King, CEO of Trinitas Ventures.

”We are excited to continue with our relationships with PNC and HSRE,” Thompson adds. “These relationships are critical as we seek to develop outstanding student housing throughout the U.S.”

Six-year-old HSRE is a real estate private equity firm headquartered in Chicago. On behalf of Harrison Street Real Estate Partners I, II and III, HSRE owns more than 20,000 student-housing beds, 5,800 seniors-housing/assisted-living units, more than 61,700 self-storage units, 2,850 dry and wet boat storage and 920,000 square feet of medical office space.

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