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Charleston's Greystar invests $206M in 2nd student housing deal in U.K.

Greystar's newest apartment development in the Charleston region is Elan Midtown at 441 Meeting St. on the peninsula. Buy this photo

Greystar Real Estate Partners remains bullish about the U.K. rental market.

The Charleston-based development and property management firm has lined up a $206 million in financing from MetLife to buy three student housing complexes with 1,135 beds in central London, according to reports.

Greystar said in a statement that it acquired the rentals from the U.K.-based Unite Group Plc. They portolfio is made up of a 230-bed complex in Southwark, the 573-bed Woodland Court in Islington and the 332-bed Wedgwood Court in North London.

"This transaction aligns perfectly with Greystar's strategy to acquire well-located, high-quality assets that will benefit from our organization's track record of repositioning and improving assets in order to provide a superior living experience for our residents," Bob Faith, founder and CEO of Greystar, said in a statement. "We are committed to building a world-class platform in the U.K. for the management, development and investment of both the student accommodation and private rented sector assets."

Mark Hafner, Greystar's senior managing director, said the Broad Street firm sees "a tremendous opportunity in the U.K." and is seeking more acquisitions and development projects there.

In October, Greystar bought another portfolio of student housing in London and elsewhere in England from a failed venture in partnership with longtime backer Goldman Sachs & Co.

Greystar is the largest operator of apartment communities in the United States, with over 215,000 units under management in 100 markets. It said it was the largest privately held acquirer of apartments globally in 2013.

The firm recently completed Elan Midtown, a 200-unit apartment building at Meeting and Spring streets in downtown Charleston. It also is a partner in the first phase of the nearby Courier Square, a mixed-use project being proposed by the owner of The Post and Courier.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.

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