Scion Student Communities LP – a joint venture between The Scion Group, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) – has acquired a 22-property student housing portfolio of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital for about $1 billion.
The portfolio transaction comprises approximately 12,000 beds across 18 states in the US and involves 20 leading national universities. Harrison Street, a real estate investment firm, focusses on the education, healthcare and storage sectors.
Harrison Street has over 73,000 beds throughout the U.S. and Europe. Since inception in 2005, Harrison Street has invested $18 billion across its portfolio strategies with over $9 billion across 232 properties in education and student housing assets alone.
During this period, the firm has sold more than 96 student housing properties for a gross transaction value of $4.3 billion. According to Harrison Street, the properties were owned by five different Harrison Street funds in conjunction with multiple operating partners.
“This transaction reflects Harrison Street’s strong overall track record in student housing and our ability to create value for our investors and partners by successfully transforming the portfolio,” said Christopher Merrill, Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Harrison Street.
“This portfolio demonstrates our long standing strategy of acquiring single assets or development opportunities with substantial value-add potential in or near large, leading universities, making key improvements to increase tenancy, and attracting world-class partners. We continue to identify attractive investment opportunities and remain committed to providing the highest quality student housing facilities to universities across the U.S.”
In March 2017, Harrison Street announced it sold a portfolio of nine high-quality student housing properties to Scion Student Communities LP for $465 million.
In a bid to spur returns, GIC has been investing heavily in student housing. In January 2016, GIC announced a partnership with Scion Group LLC and CPPIB to acquire a portfolio of US university student housing worth $1.4 billion. In April 2017, it acquired student housing blocks in Sydney worth $302 million.