Memphis, Tenn. — Education Realty Trust (NYSE: EDR) has entered into agreements to sell nine of its student housing communities for a total of $84.8 million. The buyer was Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, which acquired the community on behalf of its Real Estate Partners I fund. The properties average 11 years in age and are located an average of less than a mile from their respective campuses. Four of the properties are expected to close by the end of the year. They include:
• Berkeley Place - a 480-bed community located in Clemson, S.C., that serves Clemson University;
• The Pointe at Southern - a 528-bed community located in Statesboro, Ga., that serves Georgia Southern University; and
• The Gables and Western Place - 288-bed and 504-bed properties, respectively, located in Bowling Green, Ky., that serve Western Kentucky University;
The remaining five communities will close in the first quarter of 2011. They include:
• Clemson Place - a 288-bed located at Clemson;
• The Reserve at Jacksonville - a 504-bed community located in Jacksonville, Ala., that serves Jacksonville State University;
• The Chase at Murray - a 408-bed community located in Murray, Ky., that serves Murray State University;
• Troy Place - a 408-bed community located in Troy, Ala., that serves Troy University; and
• The Reserve at Martin; a 384-bed community located in Martin, Tenn., that serves the University of Tennessee at Martin.
The properties currently have an average occupancy rate of 95 percent and an average monthly rental rate of $358. According to EDR, the sale is part of the company's strategic plan to reposition its portfolio by selling non-strategic assets at smaller campuses and acquiring newer communities at larger universities.
An example of this is EDR's recent $45.5 million acquisition of The Grandmarc at the Corner, a 641-bed community located in Charlottesville, Va. The property opened in 2006 and is situated within two blocks of the campus of the University of Virginia. Occupancy was 90.8 percent at the time of closing, and the average monthly rental rate was $670.
EDR is also pursuing several new development opportunities. The proceeds from its sale of the nine properties mentioned will help fund development projects at the University of Texas, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Connecticut. The company also is pursuing development partnerships with schools for on-campus housing. It recently closed on the construction financing for the development of a $35 million on-campus community at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pa. The project will bring 312 units and 634 beds to the school. Completion is expected in January 2012.