FORT WORTH-Behringer Harvard has struck a buy-in agreement to two student housing projects being developed by subsidiaries of Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund and Phoenix Property Co. The play opens with $14.2 million in mezzanine funding for GrandMarc projects in Fort Worth and Charlottesville, VA.

Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I Inc. provided the capital and will pick up a 50% partnership interest when the projects deliver. The Dallas-based Behringer Harvard kicked in $8.1 million for the $38.3-million, 644-bed GrandMarc at Westberry Place at 2855 W. Bowie St. on the Texas Christian University campus in Fort Worth and about $6.1 million for the $29.9-million, 649-bed GrandMarc at the Corner at 307-321 15th St. beside the University of Virginia campus. The projects are ticketed to roll within 30 days of their completion or by Aug. 15 into a joint venture pool between Behringer Harvard and the development duo, according to an SEC filing.

The mezz loans mature Feb. 25, 2008, bearing a 10% annual interest accrual. The Toronto-based Brookfield and Dallas-based Phoenix Property have the TCU project and Virginia development mortgaged through Charlotte, NC-based Wachovia Bank and KeyBank in Cleveland, respectively.

Behringer Harvard didn’t return telephone calls by press time about its inroad into the student housing arena. Last December, the investment group filed an SEC registration for a multifamily REIT offering that has yet to hit the market. And in recent weeks, Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I and its overseers inked a contract with Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. to sell nearly 54.6 million shares of common stock. The proposed price is $10 per share for nearly 46.6 million shares and $9.50 per share for the remaining eight million shares. The offering will carry a minimum 200-share purchase when it hits the market, according to the SEC filing. The final prospectuses for both offerings have yet to be filed with the feds.

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