Chinese company buys into UT student housing

By May Zhou in Houston | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-01-11 11:53

Chinese company buys into UT student housing

For students at the University of Texas at Austin, it's not uncommon to sign next year's apartment lease as soon as the fall semester starts due to high demand from its 48,000 students - the 2016 enrollment number - at its downtown campus location.

Now that high demand has attracted a Chinese company to build student housing next to the school's west campus, an area known for its high occupancy rate.

Grand China Fund has partnered with Austin developer Aspen Heights Partners to build the 17-story residency for students.

The project with an estimated cost of $60 million and known as Aspen West Campus is expected to be completed by fall of 2018, according to Austin local media.

The tower will have 166 units, ranging from efficiencies to five-bedrooms, and a fitness center, game room, study lounge and pool.

The Aspen West Campus is the first student-housing project for Grand China Fund, a Beijing-based real estate private-equity fund with about $1.5 billion in managed assets.

The fund has been creating diversified portfolios for investors since its inception in 2012. According to a company statement, Grand China has funded 22 residential projects across the US.

The Austin project is not the first Texas project for Grand China Fund. In 2013, it partnered with Gaia Real Estate Investments and acquired a 286-unit apartment complex south of the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

"As we develop our first student housing high-rise in our own backyard, our team feels particularly proud of this project that will not only bring value to one of Austin's most desirable neighborhoods, but serve the housing needs of students attending UT," Ryan Fetgatter, vice-president of development for Aspen Heights, said in a statement.



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