CHICAGO, IL. The Scion Group has announced completion of three simultaneous acquisitions of student housing communities from three separate sellers, in a transaction exceeding $100 million in value. The properties, totaling 2,293 beds, serve the University of South Carolina, Oklahoma State University and Louisiana State University.
The acquisitions represent a mix of a large cottage/townhome community, a value-add opportunity and a new pedestrian development. Scion completed the transaction in partnership with a private equity fund. The communities include:
- Woodlands of Columbia, a 1,209-bed community in Columbia, SC, serving the University of South Carolina (32,000 students). The property, located approximately 2½ miles from campus in a large cluster of student housing, includes 260 townhomes and 130 apartments ranging from 1,200 to 1,900 square feet, in a streetscape development built in 2009. Notable features include private bedroom-bathroom suites, hardwood-style floors, a large clubhouse with ample study, gaming and lounge spaces, and private shuttle bus service to the USC campus. Scion, which also owns and operates the 700-bed Riverside in nearby Cayce, SC, purchased the property from its developer.
- Avenue East, formerly The Grove at Stillwater, a 612-bed property in Stillwater, OK, serving Oklahoma State University (26,000 students). The community is located exactly one mile from the OSU campus; it was built in 1999 and redeveloped in 2012, including construction of new amenity facilities and the addition of nearly half its 206 apartments and townhomes. Among the closest to campus purpose-built communities in the market, Avenue East offers a wide mix of unit types along with a large clubhouse with fitness center, pool and sports courts. Immediately upon acquisition, Scion rebranded the community and has begun a $1.4 million repositioning program, including apartment upgrades expected to be completed by Fall 2015. The seller was a joint venture between a public REIT and a private equity fund.
- University Edge, a 472-bed community in Baton Rouge, LA, serving Louisiana State University (30,000 students). Completed in 2013, the property is a three- and four-story pedestrian infill development just a half-mile from the main LSU campus and close to the University’s new Water Research Campus. The 147 apartments offer a mix of unit types, all with private bedroom-bathroom suites. Features include vaulted ceilings, hardwood-style floors, a fitness center and study, gaming and lounge areas. Scion purchased University Edge from the property’s developer and will rebrand the community in Fall 2015.
Scion’s portfolio now comprises over 18,000 beds, including 16,250 owned and operated beds at 18 campuses in 12 states, plus nearly 1,800 on-campus managed beds at UNLV.