University Gateway, a popular student housing option across the street from the University Park Campus at the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Figueroa Street, was sold in October for more than $200 million to a Wisconsin public employees pension fund.
Gateway, which charges about $1,000 a month per bed, was built by Los Angeles developer Urban Partners in 2010. The complex has 421 units with 1,656 beds and offers amenities including rooftop balconies, study rooms and a gym.
The deal was closed by the CBRE’s National Student Housing Groups to Blue Vista Capital, which purchased the eight-story complex on behalf of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.
The student housing was considered prime real estate, given its close proximity to campus, according to CBRE’s National Student Housing Group, which aided in closing the deal at the end of October.
“It is a high quality asset because its location is irreplaceable,” said Jacyln Fitts, the associate director of CBRE’s National Student Housing Group. “We worked as the brokerage firm that represented the Urban Partners who developed the property. We brought it to market in the spring of 2012 -… and then assisted them in selling the deal.”
Because of confidentiality, Fitts was unable to comment as to whether USC was approached about the building or whether the university put forward a bid.
Neither Gateway management nor the USC Real Estate & Asset Management were available for immediate comment.
Under the sale, Peak Campus Management, which manages more than 30,000 beds nationwide, will managed the property, according to Blue Vista Capital President JD Goering.
Though there will be a change in management, Goering assured that there is unlikely to be any major changes in management style.
“There will be no impact on students,” said Goering. “We’re going to look into some upgrades. Obviously, the property is pretty new so there’s not a lot that needs to really be done.”
Some Gateway residents believe management could improve operations. Isabel Khalili, a junior majoring in music industry, said Gateway’s new management has potential to better improve the complex’s allocation of resources.
“Gateway’s problem is that they hype it up,” said Khalili. “It’s a brand new building, but it seems like they never really cared to finish it. The ceilings still look terrible. If I were living in an old house that were cheap, and if I had my own room I wouldn’t care as much, but I’m paying so much to live in these rooms that are basically unfinished.”
To Goering, the top priority is making the change in management as smooth as possible.
“It’s going to be a seamless transition,” Goering said. “Our goal … is really that the student doesn’t even know that anything has been disrupted. They might have to write their rent check to a different name, but hopefully the experience will be improved upon with strong customer service and maybe some amenity and upgrade changes that can be done in the future.”