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TEMPE, AZ-A $200-million joint venture between Campus Suites of Orlando and Chicago-based Harrison Street Real Estate Capital has begun with the groundbreaking of the 960-unit, $75-million Campus on the Rail. The plan is to build off-campus student housing at select universities in the US.

Campus Suites on the Rail will be situated on a seven-acre tract at 1890-1912 E. Apache Blvd. It is scheduled to deliver in 2009. The complex will have two-, three- and four-bedroom units, averaging 1,400 sf.

Dean Egerter, principal with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital says Tempe was a logical jumping-off point for a variety of reasons, one of which was student population growth at Arizona State University. “Given the site’s proximity to the future light rail, given the growth of the university and given there hasn’t been much new development for students in this marketplace for the past five to seven years, we thought it would be appropriate to bring something like this into the equation,” Egerter says.

Campus Suites on the Rail isn’t Harrison Street’s first student housing development, but it is the company’s first in Phoenix. The architect is LM Niemiec Architects/Planners Inc. from Scottsdale. The general contractor is Adolphson & Peterson Inc. of Minneapolis.

Egerter tells GlobeSt.com that Campus Suites on the Rail will be the first 2009 delivery for the partnership, which plans to build 3,000 to 4,000 more beds in two to three years. Additional sites have yet to be determined.

Egerter says the projects, all slated to carry the Campus Suites brand, will be sold once they reach stabilization. “This is more of a merchant build,” he acknowledges.

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