Student housing giant Campus Advantage invests Seattle market with $95 million in University District acquisitions - Puget Sound Business Journal

Student housing giant Campus Advantage invests Seattle market with $95 million in University District acquisitions – Puget Sound Business Journal

One of the nation’s largest owners of student housing this week made a $94.8 million bet on Seattle’s University District, where it bought nearly 400 units that are delivering some of the highest per-square-foot rental rates in town.

Austin, Texas-based Campus Advantage bought the two-building Identity project (4106 and 4119 and 12th Ave. N.E.) for $53.4 million and Liv Seattle (4717 Brooklyn Ave N.E.). The sellers were limited liability companies that, according to online records, is a combination of CA Student Living of Chicago, and Principal Financial Group of Des Moines, Iowa.

Student housing long has been a driver in the U District, home of the 46,000-student University of Washington. Now that the neighborhood as been upzoned to allow significantly taller buildings, interest is ratcheting up.

Developers are moving ahead with big projects, such as a 24-story tower in the same block as Liv, and some longtime owners of old, small apartment buildings have banded together to jointly sell their properties as one site where around 550 market-rate apartments or housing with 1,100 student beds could be built.

This is no surprise given rental rates. At Identity, which consists of 198 small apartments, rents range from $1,399 to $1,649 for units that are between about 300 to 350 square feet, according to a leasing agent at the property. That works out to around $4.70 a square foot. In urban King County, per-square-foot rents were $2.77 last year, according to Colliers International’s Seattle Multifamily Team.

Rents at Identity have gone up significantly since early 2015, when the property opened. At the time Curbed Seattle reported that asking rents ranged from $814 to $1,409.

Liv is 56 units, though each is divvied up into units with two- to five-bedrooms. A leasing agent at the property said a bed in a five-room unit leases for $1,099, while one in a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment is $1,469. The apartments have a total of 198 beds, the agent said.

Neither property is offering concessions.

Identity and Liv are the only Washington state assets owned by Campus Advantage, according to the company’s website. The company says it’s the sixth largest student housing owner in the United States.

The company bought the Seattle properties as part of a 1,910-bed portfolio acquisition in five states. Campus Advantage formed a $200 million joint venture with a an unnamed state pension fund. Since 2007, Campus Advantage says it has acquired more than $1.5 billion in student housing assets through partnerships.

Rising rents have lured Campus Advantage of Texas to the Northwest.

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