GAINESVILLE, FL - The Preiss Company, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing student housing owners, developers and managers, announced that it has acquired the 240-unit/770-bed Canopy Apartments, a student housing complex located less than one mile from The University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. The property was purchased for $36.25 million from a private investment group. Comprised of five, three-story buildings, the property is located at 4400 SW 20th Avenue, less than five minutes from campus. It is Preiss’ sixth acquisition in the past 12 months and brings to 32 the number of student housing properties owned by the company.
“This acquisition marks another important step in our national expansion program,” said John Preiss, chief investment officer, The Preiss Company. “This is our first Florida property and extends our portfolio from the Sunshine State along the Eastern Corridor to Pennsylvania and complements our growing portfolio in the Midwest and Southwest. The Canopy is our sixth acquisition/development/financing transaction in the past 12 months, totaling more than $350 million in activity. We have an aggressive appetite for additional acquisition and development, as well as to expand our third-party management.”
Preiss noted that the company acquired the four-year-old property below replacement cost. “With interest at historic low rates and attractive real estate pricing in multiple markets, we have an extensive pipeline and currently are well along in negotiations on a number of properties,” Preiss said. “We see continued consolidation in the industry by larger companies like Preiss who have access to capital, sophisticated operating systems, and the ability to achieve immediate economies of scale. The current state of the industry matches up well with our growth strategy of acquisitions, development and third-party management.”
The student housing complex was brokered by HFF, a division of HFF, Inc. (NYSE: HF), led by managing directors Brian Kelly and Troy Manson and senior managing director Manny de Zárraga. In addition, HFFS, the company’s capital markets services division, led by managing directors Timothy Joyce and Stephen Skok, arranged a $26.4 million, 12-year, 4.5 percent fixed-rate mortgage loan with M&T Realty Capital Corporation (FNMA).
Canopy Apartments is located on 16-plus landscaped acres. The apartments consist of two-, three- and four-bedroom floor plans, offering approximately 1,100 to 1,600 square feet of space. Each fully furnished apartment features granite countertops, premium stainless steel appliances, nine-foot ceilings, full-size washers and dryers, 42-inch plasma televisions and private bathrooms for each bedroom. A partial list of amenities include a zero-entry, lagoon-style swimming pool, study rooms and cyber center, grilling area, gym-quality fitness center, clubhouse with gaming area, indoor basketball court, two volleyball courts, virtual golf course, tanning beds and complementary cable and Internet service.
“The property, built in 2009, enjoys an excellent reputation in the University of Florida campus community and currently has a 95% occupancy rate,” Preiss said. “We are implementing our proprietary management systems to further enhance operations, student-tenant satisfaction and occupancy. We already are 85 percent leased for the fall semester and anticipate leasing out shortly.”