Safanad Expands Student Housing Portfolio
January 30, 2018 — Safanad, the global principal investment firm, and Vie Holdings, a US-based real estate investment company specializing in student and multifamily housing, today confirmed the acquisition of The Towers at University Town Center, Maryland. Safanad is set to expand its student housing portfolio across areas with strong universities and growing student populations as demand increases for purpose-built and well-managed communities.
Safanad led the $69.5 million transaction, its second with Vie Holdings, primarily deploying capital from its own balance sheet to bring forward an attractive opportunity for US, GCC and Asian private and institutional investment partners.
The firm’s strategy is to identify and actively manage stable value-creation opportunities in sectors that are underpinned by long-term trends and market displacements to grow its strong and diversified baseline portfolio. A $5 million renovation program will commence immediately to enhance the living experience with new rooftop finishes, expanded services, upgraded units and potentially additional facilities.
Chris Aiken, Senior Director of Real Estate at Safanad said, “We are seeing a consistent increase in demand for purpose-built and well-managed student housing as US and international students expect high quality and lifestyle-led accommodation. Demand is compounded in locations where there is undersupply of on-campus housing and growing student populations.
Aiken added, “in the case of The Towers, we already have great housing that is well connected and surrounded by entertainment options. Our priority is to support the management and initiate an upgrade program to further improve the living experience and create greater value for our investors.”
The Towers student housing community consists of two 16- & 17-story buildings of two, three and four-bedroom homes. Located just minutes’ walk from two metro lines and 7 miles from the center of Washington, D.C., it meets demand from students attending nearby Howard University and the University of Maryland and other universities and colleges in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It is surrounded by popular restaurants and nightlife and has extensive amenities including a fitness center, rooftop pool, spa, dining services and a large study lounge to provide convenient and sociable student living.
Safanad deploys its own capital as a lead investor with the support of its investment partners and private and institutional clients. The firm’s priority sectors to date include healthcare, education, student housing, suburban offices, automotive technology, data centers and retail operations. Inclusive of this transaction, Safanad currently owns or controls over $9 billion in real estate and private equity assets worldwide.