Student record

Goldman Sachs buys student housing in Berkeley for $112 million

A unique student apartment complex in Berkeley, featuring a carved limestone facade resembling castle walls, has been bought for $112.9 million by a Goldman Sachs subsidiary as part of a cash deal, according to Alameda County records.

Enclave Apartments, a 55-unit student housing complex at 2503 Haste Street, has been sold by a group led by Irvine-based LBA Realty and Point Richmond-based West Builders, according to a report from SiliconValley.com.

The seven-story building at the corner of Haste and Telegraph Avenue, is within walking distance of the main UC-Berkeley campus. The mixed-use asset comprises five commercial units on the ground floor.

The student apartment building is a local landmark due to the unique exterior of the lower floors, which are clad in stone sculpted to resemble cliffs, rocks and boulders, as well as castle walls reflecting Tudor and Moorish designs.

The top half of the building evokes an Italian village perched on a cliff, according to designer, Walnut Creek-based LCA Architects. The building, which has a capacity of 254 beds, offers upper and lower terraces and gathering spaces that resemble courtyards.

The student housing sector’s recovery continues to gain momentum after a pre-pandemic slump, with average rent per room for fall 2022 at $777, a 3% year-over-year increase, GlobeSt.com reported.

Pre-letting of student accommodation has been strong this year, easing fears that a shift to online learning during the pandemic will become the new normal.

According to a Yardi Matrix survey of 200 schools in late April, pre-rental for next fall was recorded at 63.7%, up 13.5% year-on-year and nearly 10% higher than pre- pandemic in March 2019.

As students return to occupy student housing in Berkeley and elsewhere, many of their professors struggle to find affordable housing in Silicon Valley.

According to a recent report by the San Jose Spotlight newspaper, housing prices in the Bay Area are so prohibitive that cities like Palo Alto, Santa Clara and Los Gatos are investing in teacher housing.

The Alum Rock Union School District is putting a bond measure on the ballot in November to fund a $27 million housing project for teachers.

In Santa Clara County, the median home price topped $1.97 million, according to the California Association of Realtors. The median price of single-family homes in San Jose has risen more than 23% this year, CAR reported.

At the national level, student housing continues to attract CRE players. Inland Private Capital (IPC) and Core Spaces recently launched a strategic joint venture targeting purpose-built student housing at top universities across the United States, GlobeSt.com reported.

Core Spaces owns and/or operates 44 student residences nationwide with a total of over 22,000 beds, with another 40,000 in the pipeline.