Allison Higgins, assistant vice president with George SmithPartners in Los Angeles, explains MHE liked that Cambridge atTyler, situated at 3088 Old Omen Rd., is adjacent to the Universityof Texas at Tyler. "MHE is actively expanding its student housingportfolio and this one caught their eye because most of the landaround this asset is tagged by the university for academicdevelopment," she explains.

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Higgins and George Smith Partners' principal Steven Bramarranged a $22.3-million acquisition loan through Freddie Mac. MHEended up with a five-year, permanent, non-recourse loan at Liborplus 2.90%.

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The complex, completed in summer 2007, was open in time for theschool year and had 100% occupancy throughout the academic year.Cambridge at Tyler has one-, two-, three and four-bedroom units.Monthly rents are $450 to $725 per bed.

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Despite the first-year success, Bram tells GlobeSt.com thatfinding acquisition financing was a challenge. "The fact Tyler wasa tertiary market was one issue lenders had," he says, "and theschool's enrollment was less than 10,000 students."

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Higgins says Freddie Mac, though, was comfortable with the deal.What also was helpful is the university is switching to a four-yearprogram, which is starting to spark demand for housing, sheadds.

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Higgins says MHE is looking for more student properties--and notjust in Texas. "They're actively increasing their student portfolioand are looking nationwide," she says.

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