Virtus Real Estate Capital Acquires Two Student Housing Properties

by Katie Sloan

Austin, Texas — 301-bed complex at Michigan State and 564-bed property at Georgia Southern add to an investment fund.

Cambridge at Southern.Austin, Texas — Virtus Real Estate Capital has acquired 2900 Place near Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., and Cambridge at Southern in Statesboro, Ga., near Georgia Southern University.

In 2011, Virtus Real Estate Capital launched a $100 million equity fund targeting student housing assets. The firm’s student housing investment strategy focuses on Tier 2 universities, value-add opportunities and major community college systems that have shown enrollment growth. Virtus also targets high-density urban student housing markets. The firm’s overall investment strategy incorporates major U.S. demographic trends, such as the aging of the Baby Boomer generation and the coming of age of the Millennial generation as well as the growth of the Hispanic market. Student housing is a key part of Virtus strategy that also includes medical office, senior living and self-storage, said Director of Business Development Kevin White.

“Both of the properties fit within our investment strategy,” White says. “Cambridge at Southern is a Class A asset in a high-growth, Tier 2 market. We recapitalized the partnership for Scion who is one of our operating partners. 2900 is close to the campus of Michigan State, which isn’t a high-growth Tier 2 market, but it is a value-add property. We will be investing more than $1.5 million in building improvements.” Among the improvements will be upgrades to the pool, fitness center, common hallways and leasing office.

The seller of 2900 was The Sterling Group out of Mishawaka, Ind., and Virtus worked with Cabrio Properties of Ann Arbor, Mich., on the transaction. Cabrio sourced the deal for Virtus, White says, and the firm is still actively involved in the asset management of the property.

2900 will be managed by Asset Campus Housing.

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