Work has started on a $60 million, 17-story student housing project near the main campus of the University of Texas at Austin developed by Austin-based Aspen Heights Partners with Beijing-based real estate private equity fund management company Grand China Fund, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Aspen West Campus will consist of 166-units – totaling 464 beds – and is slated for completion in the fall of 2018.
Grand China, which has roughly $1.2 billion in assets under management, has funded 22 residential projects in the U.S. The latest project is its first foray into student housing. Aspen Heights has developed, promoted and operated 31 student housing projects in 26 U.S. markets, according to the American-Statesman.
Large-scale residential developments in the U.S. are attracting interest from international players. Grand China’s involvement in the student housing project in Austin comes as the company expands its portfolio of assets in the U.S. In October, the company partnered with multifamily developer JPI on a $255 million, 747-unit luxury apartment property in Anaheim, CA.
Demand for student housing remains strong, and efforts to diversify and expand the roles that traditional residence halls serve is being mirrored by developers working nearby to meet demand for lower-cost housing within walking distance to campus.
Portland, OR, is one city facing challenges to meet the growing need for affordable homes, which includes student housing.
Last month, nonprofit developer College Housing Northwest broke ground on a $20 million housing redevelopment project in the city that will provide 141 furnished units for college and university students, which are set to be priced at least 15% below market.
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