New York real estate firm buys into Columbia Housing Boom

Thursday, June 7, 2012 | 7:59 p.m. CDT; updated 9:34 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 7, 2012

COLUMBIA — A New York real estate company is throwing its buying weight behind Columbia's student housing boom.

Two Columbia apartment complexes, The Cottages of Columbia and Grindstone Canyon, have been sold as part of a collection of purchases by Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors, a unit of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P.

Sale prices were not disclosed.

The purchases follow an explosion of building growth related to student housing in the city. As previously reported in the Missourian, a record freshman class in 2008 exceeded available beds at MU, leading its Department of Residential Life to set up rental agreements with nearby apartment complexes. One of those agreements created Tiger Diggs inside the Campus View Apartments complex and is still in place.

Meanwhile, the push for additional student housing has helped drive new apartment construction. Some of the early manifestations are already open for business, such as The Grove on Rock Quarry Road, which opened in 2011 with 632 beds. More student-oriented apartments are coming next year, with two downtown complexes being built, one on Ninth Street and the other on Locust Street, as well as another on College Avenue and in the eastside Crosscreek property. In all, the upcoming complexes are set to bring in another 608 beds for students across Columbia.

The Cottages of Columbia and Grindstone Canyon, located on the city's southside on East Nifong Boulevard and Grindstone Parkway, respectively, combine for 897 beds between them. Both were previously owned by companies in Birmingham, Ala. — Grindstone Canyon by Capstone Companies and The Cottages of Columbia by Cottage Builders Inc.

With its new purchases, Kayne Anderson now lists its total student housing offerings as 6,968 rooms holding 20,598 beds. According to the real-estate strategy listed on its website, Kayne Anderson specifically targets off-campus student living properties for purchase, ranging between $15 million and $80 million in value.

In an email, Robin Rains, managing director of Kayne Anderson's real estate private equity activities, said the plan is to keep the staff at The Cottages of Columbia and Grindstone Canyon intact. Rains also confirmed that improvements would be made to both apartment complexes as a result of the purchases but would not give specifics regarding what those might be.

This story was written by Chris DeRosier, staff reporter, Missouri Business Alert. Missouri Business Alert is a start-up digital publication that will be launched this fall.

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