Landmark, EdR at Work on Projects in PA
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STATE COLLEGE, PA—Work has started on the Retreat at State College, a 587-bed cottage project that will serve students at Pennsylvania State University here. A development of Landmark Properties and owned by a joint venture of Landmark and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, the project is located about a mile from, and on the bus transit route for the PSU campus and offers 138 one- to five-bedroom craftsman-style cottages on 24 acres.
According to Landmark president and CEO Wes Rogers, the firm’s been working on obtaining entitlements for the site for two years. “It will be impossible to replicate what we’re building here,” he says.
The Retreat will feature custom-built cottages with 18 different open-floor plans featuring gourmet kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, large bedrooms with walk-in closets, private bathrooms, built-in bookshelves, outdoor decks and high-speed Internet/cable. The community has what’s touted as “the most extensive amenity package” in State College, including what’s believed to be largest pool of any student community here, a raised hot tub, bocce ball and sand volleyball courts, an outdoor fireplace with a grilling area.
A 15,600-square-foot clubhouse will offer a fully-equipped fitness center with separate strength and cardio rooms; indoor basketball and racquetball courts; video gaming pods; and a spa suite with a massage area, sauna, multiple tanning beds and manicure/pedicure stations. There will also be a study lounge, gaming rooms, café, sports book-style gaming lounge, computer lab and a golf simulator.
The project is scheduled for a summer 2013 opening. Landmark, through its affiliate, Collegiate Construction, also serve as the general contractor on the project. The firm now has more than 4,000 beds of student housing currently under construction and an additional 5,000+ beds in the pipeline.
Memphis-based EdR provided a $3-million mezzanine investment, with an option-to-purchase agreement, for the project. While PSU “has experienced steady growth in recent years, there have not been many new off-campus collegiate housing developments because of this market's high barriers to entry,” says EdR chief investment officer and EVP Tom Trubiana. “Because of our success in this market, the need for new off-campus housing and our knowledge of Penn State’s student leasing preferences, we are confident this option-to-purchase agreement for the Retreat at State College will be a successful investment for EdR and our shareholders.”
This is the second such project EdR and Landmark are working on. The firms are also under way on $37.6-million cottage community at the University of Mississippi, scheduled to open in the fall of 2013. The Retreat at Oxford will have 668 beds and amenities similar to the Retreat at State College.
Meanwhile, in Mansfield, PA, EdR is working on the second phase of a student housing development on the Mansfield University campus. The $53.6-million projects Phase Two is a continuation of the school’s master plan to replace outdated residence halls with modern, state-of-the-art properties.
The two-building second phase will be build using modular techniques and is slated for a summer 2013 opening. The 684 beds will be housed 322 fully furnished suite-style units, and the community will have a multi-purpose room, a conference room and other amenities for underclassmen. EdR recently completed the 634-bed building in Phase One, which is fully leased for fall 2013.
The on-campus housing revitalization is being led by the Mansfield Auxiliary Corp., a private nonprofit group of Mansfield-area business leaders and ex-officio members of the university’s administration. It will own the lease-hold improvements through a ground lease with the university.
The development team includes WTW Architects as the lead architect and designer, Wohlsen Construction as the GC and Raymond James Morgan Keegan as placement agent and underwriter.
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