Columbus Business First | Homestead U expands student housing holdings with purchase in Tucson

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A Columbus-based owner and manager of off-campus student housing has acquired its second apartment complex in Tucson, Ariz.

Homestead U purchased the 336-apartment Reserve at Star Pass for its investment and management portfolio. The property is less than 6 miles from the University of Arizona, with an enrollment of about 40,000.

Homestead U and equity partner Columbus Pacific Properties of California paid seller Education Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE:EDR) $25.5 million for the student housing complex. The 12-year-old property includes 1,020 beds for students but has a “distressed” occupancy level at 65 percent.

“It’s a beautiful property,” said Laura Formica, Homestead U’s national director of marketing. “It’s been well-maintained.”

The complex will be renamed the Ranch at Star Pass and benefit from updated transportation to the campus, upgraded on-site programming and property management as the new owner settles in.

Homestead U and Columbus Pacific entered Tucson last October, when they purchased the 300-unit NorthPointe student housing complex near the University of Arizona.

The company also entered Lubbock, Texas, at the time with its purchase of the 243-unit, 737-bed Reserve on Frankford. That property about 4 miles from Texas Tech University, enrollment 32,600, and has been renamed Ranch Lubbock.

Both properties also were purchased from Education Realty, based in Memphis, Tenn.

With the latest addition, Homestead U counts 5,545 beds in its investment and management portfolio.

The company was started in 2011 with the purchase of University Village near Ohio State University. It also owns properties near Ohio University in Athens.

-Brian  R. Ball-Staff Reporter


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