W5 Group is pleased to announce that it has launched its US student housing investment initiative with a highly-amenitized, modern development near the University of Central Florida’s Orlando campus. W5 Group is a single-family investment office that makes innovative investments across residential real estate sectors in Europe and the US. In the student housing area, W5 Group targets equity, preferred equity, or mezzanine investments of $20 million or greater in developments and existing assets near leading universities with strong enrollment and limited competing supply.
Construction on the new student housing development, named The Retreat at Orlando, will commence in August 2020 and is slated for completion within 12 months. The property will house 602 bedrooms within 138 units, forming a cottage-style community that will include best-in-class amenities such as a resort-style pool, poolside jumbotron, golf simulator and a clubhouse replete with a study lounge and fitness center. Each of the units will offer bed-bath parity and will be fully furnished with state-of-the-art appliances, along with luxury vinyl tile floors, quartz countertops, high-speed Wi-Fi, cable television, and in-unit washer-dryers. There will also be 609 parking spaces available. W5 Group has partnered with Landmark Properties, the top student housing developer in the country. Landmark will develop and operate the property.
“W5 Group is excited to enter the US student housing space with a development at one of the nation’s leading public universities,” said Ralph Winter, principal and founder of W5 Group. “This modern and stylish property will offer students a true home away from home, emphasizing comfort and wellbeing. This first development will serve as a springboard for future deals that bring similarly high-quality and vibrant student housing to universities across the country. We are pleased to be partnering with Landmark Properties, a leading owner, developer and operator of in the student housing industry.”
The University of Central Florida (UCF) is one of the largest universities in the United States by enrollment, with almost 70,000 active students as of the 2019-20 school year. Ninety-one percent of these are in-state students, and only 4% are international, rendering the institution less susceptible to COVID-19-related disruption, and enrollment has grown approximately 10 percent since the 2015-16 school year.
“We are looking forward to partnering with W5 Group, and we deeply appreciate their investment experience in the real estate sector,” said Wes Rogers, president and CEO of Landmark Properties. “The Retreat at Orlando fits perfectly into our strategic model. Thanks to our incredibly talented team and sound business approach, we have built a long track record of success in the student housing industry. We are excited to bring that experience to bear as partner with W5 Group on this project.”
“The Landmark development team will have the Retreat ready to welcome students for 2021-22 school year,” added Raphael Sidelsky, W5’s chief investment officer. “By then, we hope that social distancing requirements will have abated somewhat, and that the threat of the global pandemic will have subsided. With that said, if that is not the case, our property is appropriately configured to maximize resident safety—our units afford each resident their own bedroom and bathroom and are spread over separate buildings to limit density.”
The Retreat will be situated at 12151 E Colonial Drive, a location accessible to UCF’s main campus via a short drive or campus shuttle. The site is currently surrounded by a selection of well-known chain and fast-casual restaurants and is conveniently located close to a number of retail establishments.