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PHILADELPHIA-Campus Apartments Inc. acquired three student housing developments located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina for an aggregate investment of approximately $50 million. They encompass 1,600 beds in 609 units.

David Adelman, president and CEO of the locally based student housing specialist, tells GlobeSt.com that each of the facilities represents a different pillar in the company’s business strategy. They are rehabbing historical properties, repositioning conventional apartment buildings as university housing and new development.

The historic rehab is a vacant, 110,000-sf warehouse, which was built in 1885 at the former Bethlehem Silk Mill in Bethlehem. Campus Apartments is working with Bethlehem-based Ashley Development to convert the building into 77 units with 255 beds. It is located one block from the Moravian College Campus and will open as the Silk Mill in September 2006. Adelman says his company’s overall investment is $15 million. “It’s not an unusual project for us,” he says. “We’ve converted more than two million sf of historic properties.”

Campus Apartments acquired the 328-unit, 12-building, garden-style Audubon Ridge Apartments, one block from Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, for $18 million. Adelman says the property is approximately 88% leased and will remain occupied during his firm’s $2-million investment in upgrades. They include new kitchens and bathrooms along with renovation of the clubhouse and exterior “to better appeal to student needs as it evolves over time to a fully student housing property,” he says. Students now represent close to 50% of the complex, which is being renamed Campus Crossing at Glassboro.

The company enters the North Carolina market by acquiring the 17-building Campus Pointe development on 27 acres near North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. “It was in a work-out situation and stalled mid-construction,” Adelman says. “We bought it from a bank for approximately $9.5 million and are investing $6 million to construct the remaining two buildings and finish several shells.” He expects completion by August.

The property is valued at $20 million, and Adelman says it is currently about 10% occupied. Amenities include a clubhouse with a movie theater, fitness center, game room and outdoor pool. There are 204 units, each with a fully equipped kitchen, high-speed internet access and a bathroom for every bedroom. It will be renamed Campus Crossings at Durham.

Campus Apartments has been in the student housing market for 40 years and currently owns or manages 220 properties. It holds a property management contract for 78 facilities here owned by the University of Pennsylvania. “These new acquisitions help maintain our focus in the upscale sector of this market niche and expand our business model to new universities and geographic regions,” Adelman says.

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