Varsity Campus Expands Southeast Portfolio

The company will manage two communities serving students at Auburn University.

Midtown Auburn. Image courtesy of Varsity Campus

Varsity Campus has expanded its management portfolio with 417 units across two Class A student housing communities in Auburn, Ala. The properties, The Balcony and Midtown Auburn, serve students at Auburn University.

Midtown Auburn is located at 1188 Opelika Road, some 2 miles from the university campus. Completed earlier this year, the community comprises one- to four-bedroom cottages and lofts. In-unit amenities include granite countertops and walk-in closets, while shared amenities include a gym, a swimming pool and a shuttle campus bus. The property was fully occupied when Varsity was selected as the manager.

The Balcony at 137 E. Glenn Ave. is less than a mile from the campus. The 2015-built community offers townhome-style floorplans with one-, four- and five-bedroom units. Apartments include stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops and walk-in closets. At the time Varsity became the manager, the community was also fully occupied and had a 94 percent preleasing rate for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Varsity currently manages 14 student housing communities across New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Alabama, according to the company website.

The Auburn University market

According to data from the National Council of Education Statistics, Auburn University had 30.737 students enrolled in the 2020-2021 academic year, with out-of-state students accounting for nearly half of the figure. The cost of student accommodation increased by 1.3 percent in 2020-2021, compared to the previous university year, reaching $13,778. Auburn’s student body is served by roughly 9,900 off-campus beds, a Yardi Matrix estimate show.

In December last year, The Preiss Co. acquired Aspen Heights, a 600-bed student housing community in Auburn, Ala., for $47.6 million, the equivalent of $79.400 per bedroom. The transaction accounted for the market’s total sales volume last year, according to a recent Yardi Matrix student housing webinar.

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