USGBC Acknowledges Student Housing as Very First LEED Platinum

The U.S. Green Building Council held a plaque ceremony recently at the West 27th Place Apartments in Los Angeles to recognize the property's place in the history of LEED.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Los Angeles—The U.S. Green Building Council held a plaque ceremony recently at the West 27th Place Apartments in Los Angeles to recognize the property’s place in the history of LEED. The 161-unit development is the first privately developed student housing property to achieve LEED platinum, the highest level possible.

West 27th Place Apartments was originally built by Los Angeles developers CityView and Symphony Development, and serves the University of Southern California campus. In late 2011, Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors L.P. bought the property for a reported $60 million, with KeyBank Real Estate Capital providing financing through Fannie Mae for the acquisition. The bank provided borrower a 10-year, fixed-rate loan.

The property won its certification last November, shortly after its completion. David Hilliard, president of Symphony Development, told MHN at the time that the greatest savings in operational costs with a LEED platinum student housing property are in water and electricity costs.

In terms of water savings, West 27th Place Apartments features high-efficiency landscape irrigation systems, storm water retention systems, drought-tolerant plants, water-efficient showerheads, toilets, faucets, dishwashers and clothes washers, and a rapid-recovery water heating system. In terms of electric savings, it features high-efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting; timers and photo cells throughout the building; additional insulation factor in walls, roof and double-pane windows and glass doors; and energy-efficient HVAC systems.

Though built to be LEED platinum, the seven-story apartment complex, which has 392 beds, was also designed to be a high-end residence. It has a 24-hour fitness center, billiards and a resort-style salt-water pool sporting a sun deck and cabanas.

Students seem to have responded to the prospect of those amenities: the property opened fully leased last fall, offering studios and one- to four-bedrooms units ranging from 425 square feet to 1,364 square feet.

Kayne Anderson is a New York-based private equity firm whose real estate arm specializes in office-campus student housing. It owns, among other properties, student housing that serves the University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, Clemson University, Michigan State University and the University of California at Riverside.

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