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Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

Fullerton Student Housing Project Trades for $44.4M

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A private Los Angeles investor has paid $44.4 million for a 100-unit, 346-bed student housing community near Cal State University, Fullerton.
An affiliate of Champion Real Estate Company paid $444,000 per unit for the property at 2000 Oxford Ave., and will rebrand the project as University Village Fullerton.

It’s the first local buy in several years for Champion, a family-owned company founded by Bob Champion in 1987.

“While COVID-19 has impacted student enrollment for the current school year, we are bullish on student housing value-add opportunities like [the Fullerton property] as campuses open for in-person learning this fall,” said Garrett Champion, executive vice president of Champion.

“Cal State Fullerton has 40,000 students and only 2,500 on-campus beds. There is very limited supply of housing geared toward students near the university.”

Alex Mogharebi, Otto Ozen and Mike Marcu of The Mogharebi Group represented the undisclosed sellers in the transaction.
Renovation Plan 

The sales price marks a nearly 30% premium over the last sale in 2017, when Laguna Beach-based Crown Acquisitions bought the site for a reported $33.5 million.

The project was built in 1972 and is located just north of Yorba Linda Blvd., across the street from the Fullerton Arboretum. It last underwent a full renovation in 2000; Crown Acquisitions was in the middle of a full-scale renovation at the time of sale.

Champion intends to carry out that renovation, investing $3.5 million in upgrades to common areas and units.

“The seller had completed renovations on about half of the units, so we will start renovating the other half by the end of the year,” said Champion.

The project could also add more units through converting under-utilized areas on the property.

The current unit mix is two- and three-bedroom units averaging 1,185 square feet.

More Deals on Horizon 

Though Champion has previously owned and managed multifamily properties in Orange County, University Village Fullerton is the only current local asset for the firm.

The company said it is continuing to scout multifamily and student housing opportunities throughout the state, including locally.

The company “will continue to look to acquire student housing properties or developable land that is walking distance to campuses and where we can provide value with our entitlement, development and property management expertise,” Champion said. 

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