NO MORE ANIMAL HOUSE?
|When Michael Zaransky and Barb Gaffen founded Prime Property Investors in 1993, the idea of student housing still conjured images of John Belushi in Animal House. But they've seen a flight to quality that has extended to their new venture in luxury suburban apartment complexes. We assume this means gold-plated beer pong tables.|
PPI is the largest off-campus landlord at Purdue and Notre Dame. It specializes in buying buildings close to campus, a trend that started when each partner's kids went off to school. Now that their children have graduated, they see a new niche: Young adults in the recession aren't able to buy a place right out of college and need nice apartments to stay in while they save their money.
This realization led Barb and Michael to purchase the $32M Arbors of Brookdale in Naperville late last month. The 96% leased complex includes a clubhouse and pool. Although the company's current 60-building, six-city portfolio has held up well over the recession due to a growth in student housing, Michael and Barbara want to diversify and are looking for new properties in DuPage and Lake Counties.