Developer completes land deal for 350,000 SF student housing project in Fayetteville

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 1,277 views 

New Jersey-based Aptitude Development has completed a $4.77 million real estate acquisition in Fayetteville, with plans to build a seven-story student housing development.

Aptitude acquired the property in three separate deals. Victory Commons II LLC, Hoskins Limited Family LP and Mathias Shopping Center Inc. were the sellers.

The 9-acre site is along Razorback Road south of the University of Arkansas campus and north of Baum Stadium. It includes the building that previously housed a state revenue office at 965 Razorback Road.

Aptitude’s development footprint is in a federal Opportunity Zone, a community development program established by Congress under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It’s meant to spur investment in targeted areas across the U.S.

Matt Strom and Philip Schmidt with Flake & Kelley Commercial in Springdale brokered the transaction.

Aptitude is mainly a student housing developer. Jared Hutter founded the business in 2014. The company has completed two projects at Syracuse University in upstate New York. Two others are under construction near the University of Louisville in Kentucky and Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.

“We’re working hard right now to really take our platform national and run across the country. We see a lot of good opportunities in the student housing space,” Hutter said in April on a podcast at OpportunityZoneExpo.com.

Aptitude plans to break ground on the 350,000-square-foot project in Fayetteville before the end of the year. It will have more than 230 units and approximately 650 beds.

According to the Center for Business & Economic Research (CBER) at the UA, the number of student-housing properties in Fayetteville has doubled in the past five years. According to the most recent data, there are 12 complexes and 6,757 beds in the city. The vacancy rate is 8.1%.

The UA had roughly 26,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the 2019 spring semester.

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