Harrison Street, one of the leading investment management firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets with approximately US$56 billion in assets under management, announced its continued expansion in Canada through two student housing transactions in British Columbia.
The transactions, which mark Harrison Street’s entry into the British Columbia student housing market, will provide needed accommodation in the region and further diversify the Firm’s open-end Canadian Fund (“the Fund”). The Fund believes it has been Canada’s most active student housing investor in 2023, completing four property investments at leading Canadian universities.
The first new transaction is the development of a 283-bed student and young professional property strategically positioned near Simon Fraser University (“SFU”) within the Greater Vancouver Area. Simon Fraser University, which currently has an enrolment of over 37,350 students, is situated on top of Burnaby Mountain, with excellent transit access to downtown Vancouver, and is surrounded by parks and conservation areas.
The SFU property is expected to be completed in time for the 2026-2027 academic year and will be developed in partnership with Rize, a leading Vancouver-based mixed-use developer. The development, which will provide students with more affordable rental options through 3 and 4-bedroom configurations, marks the first private, off-campus, fully furnished rental property near SFU and is to be built on the last developable plot within SFU’s UniverCity District.
With SFU’s off-campus housing market predominantly comprised of single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and traditional apartments, the planned property marks the only purpose-built rental targeted at students and young professionals within walking distance of campus.
The second new transaction is the acquisition of The Shelley, a modern boutique student housing/young professional asset situated in Victoria, BC, near the University of Victoria (“UVic”). UVic hosts approximately 22,000 students annually, and enrolment growth has steadily increased over the past decade. The asset is located at a prominent intersection in the district of Saanich, part of an emerging hub near UVic, immediately surrounded by a wide array of retail amenities and central bus routes and only a short walk to campus.
Jonathan Turnbull, Managing Director at Harrison Street, commented, “Harrison Street is proud to announce our latest ventures in Canada, solidifying our commitment to student housing and increasing our geographic reach nationwide. These two new transactions represent noteworthy achievements for our Firm and highlight our continued commitment to developing housing solutions that meet the growing demand from students not only in British Columbia but across the country. As we witness the strength of university enrollment nationwide, these initiatives underscore our dedication to providing exceptional living spaces and contributing to the growth and vibrancy of these communities.”
Source: Harrison Street