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AUSTIN-GE Real Estate has provided $44.65 million to Raleigh, NC-based Preiss Co. and HSBC Real Estate Equity Partners of New York City to acquire the 498-unit, 1,548-bed Campus Estates. The student housing complex is close to the University of Texas and Austin Community College.

Lance Wright, the Dallas-based southwest regional director for Norwalk, CT-based GE Real Estate, tells GlobeSt.com that the financing includes a $5.7-million cap-ex reserve to cover deferred maintenance and upgrades to the class B complex. Preiss acquired the 85%-leased complex at 300 Crossing Place from Austin-based Falcon Southwest.

According to GE, the three-year financing bears a sub-6% fixed-rate interest and a 77% loan-to-cost ratio. The loan has two one-year extensions. Nick Gonzalez with GRC Capital in Austin arranged the financing.

Situated on 45 acres, the asset’s 39 buildings contain three- and four-bedroom units averaging 1,029 sf. The monthly rent is $1.13 per sf.

Campus Estates’ acquisition came 18 months after Preiss bought an adjacent complex, the University Village at Austin at 1301 Crossing Place. Wright says Preiss’ success with the 1,152-bed University Village at Austin was a good incentive for GE to provide financing for Campus Estates.

“They’re planning on implementing a business plan similar to the one they did for University Village, which was extremely effective,” Wright says. “They’ll upgrade the property and plan to gradually transition to a tiered rental structure.” The makeover will include interiors, clubhouse, landscaping and construction of carports.

Wright says Preiss and GE have worked together on deals in other parts of the country, but this is its first financing in Texas for the borrower. He adds that Preiss should see some good economies of scale and operational efficiencies once Campus Estates’ renovations are complete. “With this buy, they have control of 40% of the beds in the Riverside housing market,” he adds.

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