Student Housing Business

JUL-AUG 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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THE SHB INTERVIE W July/August 2018 33 down land all-cash and prior to GMP execution, permits or a loan. We have had a lot of people ask us if we will go international for our growth, or expand into other sectors. While we are constantly evaluating these options, we con- tinue to see plenty of opportuni- ties with attractive risk adjusted returns here in the U.S. SHB: What are some of the proj- ects you are opening for fall 2018? Rogers: We are delivering phase one of The Standard at Atlanta, a 19-story high rise in Midtown near Georgia Tech. That particular project reached 100 percent pre- leased about six months ago. We are so excited about that market that we recently purchased anoth- er site at the corner of Spring and 10th streets. At 28 stories, this new project, The Mark at Atlanta, will be the tallest building we will have ever built. In College Station, Texas, we are building The Standard with about 900 beds. While this is a challeng- ing market today — and likely will be rough for a few more years — we think the College Station market will continue to improve over the next three to five years as enrollment catches up to all the supply that's been recently built there. We are also develop- ing another Standard project in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Main Street. In Orlando, we just deliv- ered our second cottage project in that market, The Station at Alafaya, which is also 100 per- cent preleased. In State College, Pennsylvania, we are deliver- ing The Station at State College, another cottage-style community. SHB: Do you get all these projects confused with so many going on? Rogers: Not really. I look at these projects all day, every day. SHB: Landmark has steadily grown over the years. Do you see a point where the company reaches a maximum threshold of activity? Is there room for you to do even more? Rogers: Our thinking has changed about that over the years. I've always questioned how scalable development really is given the difficulty of aligning everyone's interests from both a risk and return standpoint. If you look at a lot of the traditional apartment merchant developers who have offices all over the country, they tend to build up a big platform and then lay everyone off when a recession hits. That's not what we want to do. Our model is more centralized and — while not quite as scalable — with the talented team members we have, we are currently equipped to start 10 to 13 new construction projects per year and could probably push that even a little higher without add- ing another layer of management. With about 160 corporate employ- ees, we have nearly doubled the size of our corporate office over the past two years. SHB: Tell us about your access to capital. That is a challenge for many up-and-coming developers. You were one of the first in the industry to use international capi- tal. How do you see capital in the sector? Rogers: You're obviously seeing a massive influx of new capital entrants to the space — many of which are large foreign investors. This has provided significant- ly more liquidity for stabilized assets and helped contribute to the cap rate compression we've recently seen between student and conventional apartments. I have been pleasantly surprised at the fact that new construction starts are actually down in the face of all this capital entering our space, though. Projects getting The Mark at Tucson is under construction near the University of Arizona.

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