Scion and Virtus Acquire ACC Properties, Scion Appoints Avi Lewittes to New Senior VP Role

by Katie Sloan

Chicago — The acquisition includes properties at Penn State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Southern; new SVP Lewittes has worked on Wall Street in mergers and acquisitions.

Avi LewittesChicago — An affiliate of The Scion Group, in a joint venture with private equity funds sponsored by Virtus Real Estate Capital, has acquired three properties totaling 2,360 beds in 628 apartment units. The $118 million portfolio, purchased from American Campus Communities, includes: The Village at Blacksburg, a 1,056-bed community serving Virginia Tech; State College Park, a 752-bed property serving Penn State University; and University Pines, a 552-bed community serving Georgia Southern University. Scion will manage the venture and the properties, marking eight student communities now owned by Scion-Virtus joint ventures. The partners plan to invest more than $6 million in upgrades across the portfolio.

“We are pleased to partner with Virtus in this highly strategic acquisition in three leading university markets,” says Robert Bronstein, president of The Scion Group. “This transaction underscores our vibrant partnership and the key role Virtus has continued to play in the ongoing expansion of our business.” Terrell Gates, CEO of Virtus Real Estate Capital, added: “Scion has proven to be a trusted and successful operating partner for us as we continue to grow our student housing portfolio. We welcome the opportunity to invest again with Scion and its focused and dedicated team of student housing specialists.”

In other Scion updates, the firm has appointed Avi Lewittes to the newly created position of senior vice president of strategy and finance. Lewittes has been working with Scion as a consultant since last fall. He brings nearly 25 years of experience in corporate and real estate finance, including a role as managing director in the mergers and acquisitions groups at both JP Morgan and UBS. In 2009, Lewittes left Wall Street to focus on real estate investment, first joining Aviv REIT as chief investment officer where he helped recapitalize its balance sheet and raise approximately $1.2 billion in private equity and private and public debt.


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