RALEIGH, NC - The Preiss Company, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing student housing owners, developers and managers, announced that it will invest more than $3 million to dramatically upgrade two of its University of North Carolina at Charlotte student housing properties: the 130-unit 49 North (formerly University Club), acquired in January of 2006, and the adjacent 168-unit University Village, developed by Preiss in 2007. The Preiss Company, the nation’s fifth largest privately held student housing corporation, is the largest off-campus student housing provider in Charlotte and collectively manages 1,180 beds at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“We recapitalized these properties earlier this year with our joint venture partner, Heitman LLC, a global investment management firm focused solely on real estate, and this is the next step to optimize the return on investment by improving our student housing experience,” said Kyle Barger, Preiss’ vice president of construction management. “These are ideally located properties that are highly regarded by students and their parents, and we want keep them on the cutting edge to provide the best possible student housing experience.”
In the past year, the company has acquired six properties, investing more than $410 million, including acquisitions, refinancing, CapEx and new development. “These improvements will give us a further competitive edge to attract students to our properties to optimize occupancy and rent rate. Our key metrics at these properties are up substantially over the past two years, and we expect to see continued to improvements following these upgrades.
“The lion shares of the upgrades will be for the 49 North,” Barger noted. “We will totally refresh about 70 percent of the units with upgraded appliances, lighting, and flooring. Additionally, we will improve the pool area with an added water feature and creating an outdoor grill area and fire pit. The clubhouse also will be updated with new fitness equipment, a computer cafe area, lighting and furnishings.”
University Village at Charlotte will receive an updated clubhouse with all new cardio equipment, tanning bed, computer cafe area, lighting and furnishings. The pool area will receive a new grill area, as well as new furniture. Improvements to both properties are scheduled to be completed by September 2013, prior to the beginning of the new semester.
“Students are some of the most demanding renters in multi-housing, but respond well to upgrades, property enhancements and new technology,” Barger added. “We constantly survey our students to provide the amenities and value they and their parents seek. These upgrades reflect their preferences and will allow us to maintain our leadership position within the University of North Carolina Charlotte market.
“Our current renewal rate is more than 36 percent at the University Village at Charlotte and a staggering 48 percent at the 49 North, both higher than industry average of 30 percent. UVC also is already nearly 100 percent pre-leased, with 49 North close by with more than 90 percent pre-leased, showing that many students at UNCC are extremely pleased with the product we bring to the market.”