Walk2Campus has purchased the University Place apartments adjacent to Winthrop University.
The Rock-Hill based company purchased 610 and 630 Rose St. from GW Capital, representing bond holders which owned the buildings. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. In 2010, Walk2Campus purchased 620 Rose St.
The purchase brings the three-building complex under one management group. The complex was built by Rock Hill developer Lynn Stephenson in 2004.
The combined complex of 526 beds, divided among two- and four-bedroom units, will be marketed as CampusWalk, said Brad Hastings, chief operating officer and vice president for development of Walk2Campus. The company’s offices are on Oakland Avenue across from Winthrop University.
“We’re entering our seventh year serving students at Winthrop and these two buildings provide a nice complement to the existing CampusWalk building and the many great houses located next to campus,” said Julie Smith, director of marketing and leasing for Walk2Campus.
In addition to the apartment units, Walk2Campus owns about 30 houses near the Winthrop campus which it rents to students.
Most units in University Place are rented to students with leases that run from August to July. Existing leases will not be affected by the sale, Hastings said. According to its website, CampusWalk’s monthly rent per person is $525 for a two-bedroom unit and $465 for a four-bedroom unit at its 620 Rose St. complex.
Walk2Campus plans to invest more than $1.5 million in the properties.
“We are currently studying several scenarios of investment in these buildings, but generally speaking, we are planning to conduct extensive renovations in the common areas as well as updating the units themselves. We will also be upgrading the Internet service and offering new free laundry machines. Students will notice a real difference,” he said.
Improvements to the buildings’ security system are also planned. Hastings said the improvements should be finished by this summer.
“Winthrop is delighted that Walk2Campus is increasing the number of quality student residence options near the university,” university president Jayne Comstock said in a release. “As with the other properties Walk2Campus has improved near Winthrop, CampusWalk Apartments will offer apartment living for our students who desire off-campus housing that’s close to the heart of campus. Being able to walk to campus, instead of drive, is good for Winthrop’s students and helps us re-enforce our commitment to being green.”
Hastings said the acquisition is a step the company’s overall vision.
“A common theme we are seeing across great university towns, and especially in our markets, is the true power of a pedestrian-oriented university community. Not only are students saving on gas money and not using a parking space on campus, but the fabric of a university neighborhood is dramatically enhanced when people are walking, supporting local businesses, and building a true community.
“When you consider the raw potential of the Knowledge Park land in Rock Hill next to 700 off-campus students at CampusWalk and neighboring houses, coupled with all of the on-campus students, you really start to envision how these pieces will begin fitting together for Rock Hill and Winthrop,” he said.
The acquisition of University Place comes as Walk2Campus grows in other locations. In July, the company completed a 60,000-square-foot, mixed-use public/private project – also named CampusWalk – with the Longwood University Real Estate Foundation in Farmville, Va., and the renovation of several historic buildings in Chattanooga, Tenn., for student housing adjacent to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Don Worthington • 803-329-4066