NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GMH Communities Trust (NYSE: GCT) announced today that its student housing division, College Park Communities, has completed the acquisition of five contiguous land parcels, totaling approximately 26 acres, located within walking distance of Sam Houston State University's campus in Huntsville, Texas. The land parcels were acquired for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $1.8 million, which was primarily funded through borrowings under the Company's credit facility. The Company currently plans to construct a 23-building student housing community on the site, and already has received development approval from the City of Huntsville for the project.
The Company is in the process of finalizing architectural plans for the project, but currently expects to build an upscale, purpose-built student housing community that, upon completion in 2008, will contain 318-units/894- beds and provide a full range of luxury amenities. The company expects to develop the project in two phases, with the first phase consisting 228 units/ 660 beds currently targeted for a Fall 2007 opening. The site is expected to include a 15,000 sf clubhouse featuring a state of the art fitness center, movie theater, social lounge, game room, tanning beds, computer lounge, and leasing offices. Student-oriented services would include individual bedroom leases, fully furnished units, and cable and high-speed Internet access in each bedroom, as well as a resort-style swimming pool, basketball and sand volleyball courts on site.
John DeRiggi, President of the Company's student housing division, commented, "The acquisition and potential development of this Class A+ walking distance site represents our commitment to providing luxury student housing options with irreplaceable locations in high growth markets. Sam Houston State University represents a prime example of the target markets that we seek to enter in states with increasing high school graduation rates, such as Texas."