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INDIANA, PA-Memphis-based Education Realty Trust Inc. has been awarded a contract for the third phase of a four-phase, $250-million initiative to replace approximately 3,500 beds of student housing on the campus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. This phase calls for the development of a new, 1,054-bed, 459-unit residential building at a cost of $71 million.

EDR completed the opening phase in August 2007. That encompasses 734 beds in single- and double-occupancy suites in two buildings. The student housing REIT expects to begin the third phase in April 2008 while completing the second phase for delivery that August. The third phase is scheduled for completion in August 2009.

Dubbed the university’s “residential revival,” the entire project involves replacing virtually all of the old, functionally obsolete on-campus dormitories with new student residence halls that EDR says will provide “leading edge technology and amenities.” The development project is a public/private partnership with the Foundation for Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an IUP spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com. The foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.

The partnership program, facilitated by EDR’s development subsidiary, Allen & O’Hara Development Services, provides tax-exempt financing, and the university itself is neither the borrower nor the guarantor. The funding covers both the cost of demolishing obsolete dorms and constructing new ones. Details of the funding are undisclosed, and a call to EDR was not returned by deadline.

“We are very pleased to deepen our relationship with Indiana University of Pennsylvania,” says William Harris, president of Allen & O’Hara, in a statement. He credits the award to strong leasing trends for the completed phase along with the company’s ongoing work on the campus. “Since 2000, we have advised on the development of over $1 billion of new on-campus properties,” he adds.

EDR is among the largest US owners and operators of collegiate housing. Its portfolio includes 40,756 beds at 67 communities in 21 states.

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