Campus Advantage has purchased West 22, a 245-unit, 850-bed student housing community serving Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., from a joint venture between South City Partners and The Carlyle Group.
The property opened in August and is 98 percent leased for the 2013-14 academic year. Campus Advantage will roll in its Students First residence life program, as well as some online leasing and payment technologies that should make life easier on the residents and staff.
“The appeal of this community was its quality of construction, diversified floor plan offerings and its unique town village feel,” Michael Orsak, Campus Advantage’s senior vice president of investments, told Commercial Property Executive. “Campus Advantage’s mantra is to ensure our residents are better off living at our communities than our competitors’ properties and the design of this property combined with our Student’s First residence life programming will ensure we are successful in doing so.”
The property is a mix of apartment flats, cottages and manor homes, essentially four attached houses around a central outdoor courtyard. Community amenities include a two-story fitness center, clubhouse, resort-style pool, amphitheater, full-size sports and recreation field, half-mile fitness trail, sand volleyball court, basketball court, study rooms, internet café and shuttle service to and from campus.
West 22 is located at 3615 Cherokee St., approximately 1.7 miles from campus and less than one mile from Interstate 75 northwest of downtown Atlanta. It is on the quieter side of the University with a golf course in between it and the school. Additionally, the master plan of the entire site includes some retail frontage that when completed by the developer should provide some pedestrian retail to the residents.
According to Orsak, Campus Advantage was actually the second place bidder on the property but the first buyer walked after a story in the Wall Street Journal scared them off.
“The story misrepresented the market fundamentals, and fortunately for us, the first buyer’s investment committee got spooked,” Orsak said. “We were aware of the article and were able to do our homework on the market prior to investment committee. The university enrollment fundamentals are strong: historical growth, projected continued growth, low purpose-built housing ratio and limited future supply. All those reasons combined made this the right core property to buy.”