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ATLANTA-Locally based Place Properties LP is expanding its student housing portfolio with Chicago-based Blue Vista Capital Management LLC with new apartment complexes near the campuses of the University of Mississippi and Texas A&M University. The Place/BV Student Housing Fund LLC will invest $48 million in both properties.

The 366-bed Lafayette Place development, a quarter-mile from the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, will cater to graduate and senior undergraduate students with one- and two-bedroom units, rather than the usual four-bedroom units normally found in student housing complexes. The apartments will be fully furnished and wired for cable TV and Internet, and will offer various community amenities.

Brent Little, national development partner with Place Properties, says the smaller units allow for greater privacy, as demanded by older college students. That type demand is factored into deciding where Place/BV builds its communities, either on or off campus, along with occupancy and lease-up demand in college cities.

“We’re looking for schools with either good enrollment growth or stable enrollment with good demand for student housing,” Little tells GlobeSt.com. He adds that many campuses are experiencing record enrollment, even in a recession, as many post-graduates go back to school.

At Texas A&M, Place/BV plans to add the 496-bed Parkway Place complex to its existing 2818 Place property within a mile and a half of the College Station campus. New units will range from one to four bedrooms, with various upgrade options available and amenities shared between the neighboring properties.

Place Properties has 11 developments in various construction stages nationwide, with at least $800 million in student housing properties built over the last dozen years. “We expect our portfolio to have higher occupancy this year than we had last year,” Little says.

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