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Blue Vista Bets On Student Housing, Even During Downturns


It’s a good time to be involved in student housing, Blue Vista co-founder Robert Byron tells us. Blue Vista, a real estate investment firm based in Chicago, says investment in student housing funds remains strong, even when other asset classes go a bit wobbly. 

Robert's getting a lot of interest from investors who recognize the sector is a good investment, especially during a softening economy. There’s built-in demand even during down times. During recessions when jobs might be hard to come by, many choose to further their education. That results in a surge of new student housing capital for both undergraduate and graduate students. 

Blue Vista’s latest acquisition: In December, it bought the 12-acre site of the old St. Gabriel’s Monastery (pictured) in Brighton, MA, from Steward Health Care. By this summer, the company plans to file with the city to renovate the monastery and add buildings totaling between 400 and 500 apartments for graduate students at rents that grad students can afford.

The Boston area is one of the best educated in the country with a 50% increase in graduate students since 1994. The deal was acquired through Blue Vista Student Housing Select Strategies Fund, which has recently issued a $300M offering.

But Blue Vista isn’t focusing all its energy on the East Coast. Robert says the Sun Belt states are hot right now, mirroring new housing activity across the country.

Robert is just one of the expert panelists who will be speaking at Bisnow’s annual Student Housing conference on June 14. Join us for an exceptional opportunity to learn everything you need to know about student housing from industry experts.