London — Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) has entered the U.S. student housing market with the acquisition of 27 communities from a joint venture between University Communities LLC and the California State Teachers Retirement Fund.
The acquisitions total 8,000 beds across 18 states and include District Flats near the University of Missouri; Carriage House near Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania; Catalyst near Florida State University; and The Landing Apartments near the University of Utah.
London-based GSA also acquired University Communities’ property management arm, UComm, and will be working in partnership with the group to acquire and develop future student housing projects in the U.S.
“Entering the U.S. market and building a presence is another significant step for GSA,” says the company’s CEO, Will Rowson. “We have been patient to source the right opportunity that fits with our investment criteria and we are very pleased to have secured a major foothold across the country. We are confident this acquisition will enable us to develop significant scale, deliver on our investor promise and, most importantly, refresh the sector with our global student experience.”
Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies led loan origination for the transaction with Wells Fargo Bank agenting the senior loan. The transaction was brokered by TSB Capital Advisors. Legal and tax advice for GSA was provided by Greenberg Traurig and McGuire Sponsel.
Institutional Real Estate Inc. and The Principal Real Estate Investors advised University Communities during the transaction and Haynes Boone provided legal advice.