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Berkeley student housing complex pushes ahead with property deal


BERKELEY — A Berkeley student housing development is pushing ahead following the purchase by an alliance of veteran real estate firms of a choice university-area site.

The site of the proposed Berkeley housing development has been bought by a group led by Core Spaces and Harrison Street Real Estate, according to corporate business filings posted in December 2021 and documents filed this year with the Alameda County Recorder’s Office.

The new owners paid $21.5 million for the property, the county documents, which were filed on Jan. 31, show.

Core Spaces builds student housing, conventional apartment buildings and single-family homes. Harrison Street Real Estate focuses primarily on student residences and senior housing. Both companies are based in Chicago.

2590 Bancroft Ave., a commercial property in Berkeley. (Google Maps)

Acting through an affiliate, the new owners also obtained a loan of $11.8 million from Busey Bank at the time of the transaction to help finance the purchase.

Core and Harrison Street intend to develop an 87-unit student housing project, according to documents on file with Berkeley city officials. An existing commercial building would be bulldozed for the housing.

CBRE, a commercial real estate firm, arranged the property transaction. Keith Manson, Zachary Greenwood and Mac Watson with CBRE’s Oakland office represented the seller, Ruegg and Ellsworth.

“2590 Bancroft Way is an ideal student housing development opportunity,” said Watson, a CBRE associate. “It is shovel-ready, with permits in place, and a location in one of the most supply-constrained student housing markets in the entire country.”

The proposed development features an eight-story building with ground-floor retail and a rooftop terrace.

With a return to in-person learning at UC Berkeley, a big jump in demand for student housing has materialized in the East Bay city.

“With surging rents and limited future supply in the pipeline, Berkeley will remain one of the most stable and attractive student housing markets in the country,” said Manson, a CBRE senior vice president.


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