Early Leader in student housing returns to the market

by Katie Sloan

Newtown Square, Pa. — GMH now eyeing markets passed over by larger developers.  

Newtown Square, Pa.  —  The company that introduced by-the-bed leasing is re-entering the student housing sector, with a more subtle game plan this time around.


GMH Communities Trust is returning as GMH Community Partners. The trust sold its student housing holdings to American Campus Communities in 2008 for $1.4 billion. Now, the company says it will pursue slower growth as a private developer targeting smaller college markets.


The first project since the non-compete agreements expired will be a 696-bed community near Salisbury University. Groundbreaking is scheduled for summer 2012 on the approximately 23-acre site. Niles Bolton Associates will be the architect. The company also retains an option on an additional 27 acres of land for possible future development.


“We don’t want to be the biggest and baddest in student housing,” said President Gary M. Holloway Jr. “We’re coming back because we believe in the industry and we believe in the product. Now that we’re completely private, we can grow at our own pace.”

GMH was founded in 1985 by Gary Holloway Sr. One of its first deals was at Penn State. Some of the student housing executives that led the company’s growth are still with the team, including John DiRiggi, Joseph Macchione and Jim Kirby.

– Lynn Peisner

You may also like