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Investors - FEBRUARY 27, 2018

CA Ventures to invest $500m during next five years in European housing market

by Andrea Zander

CA Ventures, a Chicago-based real estate investment holding company, has plans to invest $500 million over the next five years in the European housing market, specifically across the purpose-built student housing and multifamily apartment sectors.

The firm is currently developing two student housing projects in Poland — 700 beds in Krakow and 400 beds in Warsaw — and is in active negotiations to acquire properties and development sites in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

Over the last eight years, the firm’s student housing entity, CA Student Living, has amassed a $3 billion portfolio serving more than 40 universities in the UUnited States, Canada, Latin America and, now, Europe. During that same period, CA Student Living successfully sold more than $2.5 billion of student accommodation assets.

“Today’s students seek modern designs and conveniences such as fully furnished suites, private bedrooms and bathrooms, ample closet storage, and a robust combination of well-appointed common spaces for social and academic pursuits,” said JJ Smith, president of CA Student Living. “On-site management ties it all together with hands-on programming and a keen eye for safety protocols.”

According to Smith, Poland is a particularly attractive European market with strong enrollment growth from locals as well as students from other countries due to its high-quality, cross-discipline university programs offered in English. CA Studentn Living estimates that while nearly 50 percent of the 2 million university students in Poland do not live with their parents, there are less than 200,000 student housing beds currently available, much of it functionally obsolete.

“Broadly across Europe, less than a third of all students currently live in purpose-built student housing, so we see tremendous runway,” said Smith.

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