NEW YORK – July 21, 2021 – GMH Communities (“GMH”) and a fund sponsored by CBRE Global Investors have entered into a programmatic joint venture to acquire existing core and value-add student housing assets for GMH’s Student Living vertical in select markets across the United States. As the joint venture’s first investment, GMH and CBRE Global Investors (“the JV”) have acquired SOVA Student Living, a 248-unit student housing community in Marietta, Ga., that services Kennesaw State University.
“Our partnership with CBRE Global Investors enables us to rapidly grow our student housing portfolio and bring a global institutional platform to a long-term asset class,” said Gary Holloway Jr., President of GMH Communities. “As a pioneer and one of the nation’s leading owners, developers and managers of high-quality student housing, GMH has a proven track record of 36 years and overcoming multiple market cycles in this highly specialized sector. We believe that CBRE Global Investors is the ideal, experienced partner that shares our long-term strategy, and we look forward to a successful endeavor in the months and years to come.”
SOVA Student Living was delivered in 2019 and is located at 3021 Hidden Forest Drive. The five-story building can house up to 816 students and offers a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom fully furnished apartments. Each apartment features bed/bath parity and high-end finishes, like stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, faux wood flooring, oversized closets, and private outdoor space. SOVA Student Living is located less than a mile from Kennesaw State University, which is the second largest university in Georgia and has seen its on-campus enrollment grow an average of 6 percent year-over-year for the last decade.
“With U.S. college enrollment climbing each year, the student housing sector has tended to be resilient through various cycles,” said Kim Hourihan, Chief Investment Officer for CBRE Global Investors’ Americas Direct Real Estate Strategies. “SOVA is the first of many strategic investments that we will make with GMH, and we look forward to continue growing our partnership with this best-in-class operator.”
Given strong market fundamentals, GMH and CBRE Global Investors share a strong conviction in student housing as a long-term institutional asset class. The partnership will target varying return levels and risk profiles. The first phase of the strategic partnership involves acquiring and repositioning, if necessary, strategic student housing communities over the next 18 months.
In total, GMH has owned and operated over 89,600 student housing beds in its 36-year history. Recent additions to its growing portfolio include SOVA in Marietta, Georgia, The Dean Campustown in Champaign, Illinois, and Academy65 in Sacramento, California.
About CBRE Global Investors
CBRE Global Investors is a global real assets investment management firm with $124.5 billion in assets under management* as of March 31, 2020. The firm sponsors investment programs across the risk/return spectrum for investors worldwide.
CBRE Global Investors is an independently operated affiliate of CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE). It harnesses the research, investment sourcing and other resources of the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2020 revenue) for the benefit of its investors. CBRE Group, Inc. has more than 100,000 employees serving clients in more than 100 countries. For more information about CBRE Global Investors, please visit www.cbreglobalinvestors.com
*Assets under management (AUM) refers to the fair market value of real assets-related investments with respect to which CBRE Global Investors provides, on a global basis, oversight, investment management services and other advice and which generally consist of investments in real assets; equity in funds and joint ventures; securities portfolios; operating companies and real assets-related loans. This AUM is intended principally to reflect the extent of CBRE Global Investors’ presence in the global real assets market, and its calculation of AUM may differ from the calculations of other asset managers.