Star America partners on $188m student housing deal

The firm reached financial close on an 85% equity stake in a 19-floor high-rise next to San Jose State University.

Star America Infrastructure Partners reached financial close on an 85 percent equity share in a $188 million mixed-use housing project near San Jose State University.

The project, a 19-floor high-rise with 260 units, will be built adjacent to the university with amenities geared towards students. The firm partnered with co-developers Amcal Equities and Swenson, both based in California, for the project’s construction.

Star America closed on its $300 million debut fund in April 2016, which has targeted social infrastructure alongside transportation and water investments. In February, the firm closed on a $67 million University of Texas mixed-use project.

In the US, universities have increasingly turned to the private sector for campus improvements, particularly when it comes to student housing. Christophe Petit, Star America’s president, said the project was designed to serve the university’s students.

Star America expects to close on an additional campus public-private partnership in the first quarter of 2018. Earlier this year, Petit told Infrastructure Investor he expects more campuses to turn to PPPs.

“There is definitely a growing interest among a growing number of universities,” Petit said. “There is also more understanding of the model. It’s not a privatisation. It’s not about selling away assets but rather entering into a long-term partnership and transferring risks – like design, construction, financing and maintenance – to the private sector.”

Construction on the San Jose housing project, called “The Graduate”, began in October and is expected to complete in 2020.