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NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA-College Park Communities, the student housing division of GMH Communities Trust, acquired three properties in three states for an aggregate of $58.3 million. In addition, it has formed a joint venture with Boston-based AEW Capital Management to finance the development and construction of two properties in two states at an estimated total construction cost of $43.5 million.

The acquisitions are from different sellers and include Presidential Tower serving the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL; Campus Walk, which serves the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, NC; and Blanton Common, located near Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. All are class A properties.

Presidential Tower contains 136 units in a 22-story high-rise directly on the U. of Illinois campus. The $23-million price tag includes the placement of approximately $14.5 million in new, 10-year, fixed-rate mortgage debt. This is the locally based specialty REIT’s third asset in that market.

Campus Walk is a 289-unit facility. GMH paid $10.3 million, which includes the placement of approximately $6.7 million in new, 10-year, fixed-rate mortgage debt.

Blanton Common is a newly constructed 208-unit, garden-style property. The purchase price was $25 million, drawn from the GMH line of credit. According to Joseph M. Coyle, president of the student housing division, GMH managed the 100% lease-up for the developer prior to the acquisition. College Park Management, the student housing management division of GMH, will manage all three properties.

The GMH/AEW joint venture plans two 144-unit, purpose-built student housing facilities. One, named College Park-Orchard Trails Apartments, is on a 61-acre parcel in Orono, ME serving the University of Maine. GMH paid $1 million for the land. The second development, named College Park-Enclave II, is in Bowling Green, OH near Bowling Green State University on an 11.4-acre parcel the JV acquired for $1.8 million. Both are expected to open by Aug. 2006 for the start of the 2006-2007 academic year.

The JV has obtained a construction loan that permits a draw of up to $32 million, or approximately 75% of the total construction cost. AEW will fund 90% of the $11.5 million in equity required for the projects, which includes acquisition costs and a portion of the development and construction costs. GMH will fund the remaining 10%, or about $1.2 million of the required equity.

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