Goldman Sachs this week announced a partnership with Core Spaces, the Austin, TX and Chicago, IL-based student housing builder, to develop properties located in college towns across six U.S. states. The $600 million portfolio will comprise nine properties and more than 4,300 beds near public universities in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. According to Multi-Housing News, the deal is the first transaction in a student housing joint venture between Goldman Sachs and Core Spaces, which specializes in the identification and refurbishment of “fatigued” properties in educational markets.
The dormitory deal is the latest in a renewed push into real estate for Goldman Sachs, which recently raised $2.5 billion to launch a fund to invest in properties across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Sources familiar with the deal told the Wall Street Journal that the fund would be structured like Whitehall Street International, Goldman’s erstwhile real estate investment fund. That fund, which held a leveraged portfolio of hotel, casino and office properties, lost 98% of its value in the Great Financial Crisis.
Goldman’s foray into the growing market for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) is also a bet on the resiliency of higher education demand in Emerging Markets. The company is an investor in India-based student housing startup Good Host Spaces, which is projecting a fourfold increase in demand for student housing in India over the next 18 months.
Earlier this spring, Goldman and JLL announced they were seeking buyers for their PBSA joint-venture Atira, which since their initial investment in 2016 has grown to become Australia’s second-largest owner-operator of student housing.