American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE: ACC), the nation’s largest owner and manager of high-quality student housing properties in the U.S., today announced that the company has formed a joint venture for the ownership of its existing eight-property Arizona State University (ASU) student housing portfolio. Harrison Street, as part of its social infrastructure platform, acquired a 45 percent interest in the joint venture, with the company owning the majority 55 percent interest. The transaction is structured with a two-stage closing. The first stage closed on December 31, 2021 and involved the contribution of three properties to the joint venture and provided the company with proceeds of $271.7 million. The second stage is currently expected to close in late 2022 or early 2023 and will involve the contribution of the remaining five properties for expected proceeds of $279.6 million, subject to customary closing conditions, including no material adverse changes to these properties. The transaction satisfies the company’s previously communicated capital sourcing transactions of $200-$400 million for calendar year 2022 and provides for additional capital proceeds moving into 2023.
In connection with the transaction, and in alignment with ACC’s core value of giving back, the company is contributing $5.0 million to ASU for scholarships, programs that support student success, and sustainability.
The 8,187-bed ASU portfolio includes seven on-campus American Campus Equity (ACETM) developed communities subject to leasehold interests with ASU and one previously acquired off-campus property located immediately adjacent to the ASU campus. This transaction demonstrates that on-campus assets developed via properly structured public-private partnerships (P3) can be valued on par with private off campus assets that reflect comparable market and product attributes. The portfolio exemplifies the highest standards of the company’s longstanding investment criteria, which focuses on developing or acquiring differentiated on-campus or pedestrian to campus communities at Carnegie R1 research institutions and/or Power-5 athletic conference universities. The communities provide a broad range of products including first-year residence halls, honors college housing, Greek housing, and upper division apartment-style housing – providing affordable housing options for a diverse audience of ASU students. ASU is both a Carnegie R1 institution and Power 5 conference member, and for each of the last seven years, has been ranked America’s #1 Most Innovative University by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, ASU is located in the heart of the Phoenix MSA, which is attracting significant global institutional capital.
“We are pleased to have executed this two-stage joint venture, as the structure fully satisfies the capital needs of our under-construction developments, while maintaining the opportunity to achieve our stated goal of providing FFOM per share growth in the range of 12 - 15 percent in 2022,” said Bill Bayless, American Campus Communities CEO. “We are also excited to partner with Harrison Street, a highly respected institutional real estate investor that has been one of the most active student housing investors of the last decade with a social infrastructure platform that is fully aligned with the social and purpose-driven mission that has always been the foundation of our partnership with ASU and other university partners. This transaction also demonstrates that we can diversify market concentration in a manner that preserves the spirit and mission of our university partnerships, while also demonstrating to our public shareholders the significant value inherent in our current and shadow pipelines of potential on-campus transactions. As the only public company in the student housing sector, ACC is well positioned to execute on this expansive opportunity for growth and value creation in the years and decades to come.”
After conducting a competitive process among institutional investors, Harrison Street, with its social infrastructure platform, was a natural partner given the alignment with ACC’s industry-leading ESG position and the four LEED developed communities in the JV portfolio. Harrison Street’s social infrastructure platform, which it has pursued since 2018, enables the firm to pursue a unique strategy of partnering with universities, health systems and government users to provide them with clean energy and sustainable buildings as well as critical service.
“Our partnership with American Campus, which began in 2006, pioneered the P3 equity financing model for on-campus student housing. This has enabled Arizona State University to preserve our capital for research and academic investments while also providing affordable, sustainable, best-in-class living learning communities that reflect the university’s high-quality and innovative nature,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU Executive Vice President, Treasurer and CFO. “We are also appreciative of ACC’s meaningful gift and continued support in promoting the success and well-being of our students.”
Christopher Merrill, Harrison Street’s Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Arizona State University is a nationally recognized institution, serving nearly 75,000 students and continues to see consistent enrollment and application growth. Harrison Street is thrilled to launch our P3 joint venture with ACC, a world-class student housing owner and developer with exceptional management practices, to support learning environments that facilitate students’ academic and social lives, as well as their overall health and well-being. Harrison Street is committed to delivering strategic capital and helping to ensure students have access to top-tier living options where they study, and we look forward to building on our P3 expertise to continue to offer exceptional and diverse spaces that attract and retain a broad range of students.”
- Initial Stage:
- Barrett Honors College – The 1,721-bed residential complex serves first- and second-year students within the distinguished Barrett Honors College. The community includes 12 classrooms, advisement center, administrative offices and a dining facility. Developed by ACC in 2009, LEED Gold.
- Tooker House – The 1,594-bed residential college designed specifically for undergraduate students in ASU’s IRA A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The community features digital classrooms, makerspaces with 3D printers, laser cutters and soldering tools for engineering curriculum. Developed by ACC in 2017, LEED Gold.
- Greek Leadership Village – This 957-bed residential complex serving the ASU Panhellenic community consists of 27 individual customized chapter houses for fraternities, sororities and community groups. Developed by ACC in 2018, LEED Certified.
- Second Stage:
- Vista del Sol (VDS) and Villas at Vista del Sol – Originally developed for the upper-division student population, the success of Barrett Honors College led to VDS and Villas’ conversion to house 2,266 upper-division honors students. It features a 12,000 sq. ft. academic support services center. Developed by ACC in 2008 and 2012.
- 922 Place – Originally acquired by the company as a 468-bed off-campus apartment community steps from campus, ASU master leases the community to provide an apartment experience with an array of amenities for upper-class students. Developed in 2009, acquired by ACC in 2012.
- Casa de Oro – One of only two residential communities on the campus of ASU West, the 365-bed Casa de Oro serves first-year students and is located in the center of campus, adjacent to the main dining facility and steps from classrooms. Developed by ACC in 2012.
- Manzanita Hall – The iconic first-year student residence hall was originally developed in 1967 in the center of campus and was redeveloped by ACC in 2013 to accommodate 816 students within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. LEED Silver.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts ("NAREIT") currently defines Funds from Operations ("FFO") as net income or loss attributable to common shares computed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), excluding gains or losses from depreciable operating property sales, impairment charges and real estate depreciation and amortization, and after adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures. We present FFO because we consider it an important supplemental measure of our operating performance and believe it is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of REITs. We also believe it is meaningful to present a measure we refer to as FFO-Modified, or (“FFOM”), which reflects certain adjustments related to the economic performance of our on-campus participating properties and excludes other items, as we determine in good faith, that do not reflect our core operations on a comparative basis. FFO and FFOM should not be considered as alternatives to net income or loss computed in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of our financial performance or to cash flow from operating activities computed in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of our liquidity, nor are these measures indicative of funds available to fund our cash needs, including our ability to pay dividends or make distributions.
The company defines property net operating income (“NOI”) as property revenues less direct property operating expenses, excluding depreciation, but including allocated corporate general and administrative expenses.
About American Campus Communities
American Campus Communities, Inc. is the largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the United States. The company is a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered equity real estate investment trust (REIT) with expertise in the design, finance, development, construction management and operational management of student housing properties. As of September 30, 2021, American Campus Communities owned 166 student housing properties containing approximately 111,900 beds. Including its owned and third-party managed properties, ACC's total managed portfolio consisted of 202 properties with approximately 140,700 beds. Visit www.americancampus.com.
In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements under the applicable federal securities law. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions regarding markets in which American Campus Communities, Inc. (the “Company”) operates, operational strategies, anticipated events and trends, the economy, and other future conditions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. These risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward looking-statements include those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, about which there are still many unknowns, including the duration of the pandemic and the extent of its impact, and those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 under the heading “Risk Factors” and under the heading “Business - Forward-looking Statements” and subsequent annual reports on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. The information contained on our website is not a part of this release.