Student Housing

Blazing a Trail in rural Native America town

Student Housing

Cedar Ventures is prepared to assist developers or institutions of higher education with their housing needs by providing creative financial solutions in the form of bonds, ground lease, specialty lenders, tax credits and equity.

Case Study: UNCP

When Cedar Ventures was asked by a Development team to source debt for a student housing building on a campus with less than 10,000 students, in a rural, low income location in North Carolina, and with a student population that was also low income, with about 75% of the students receiving financial aid, about 60% in the form of Pell Grants, we knew we had a challenge. Given that we are not ones to shy away from any difficult situations, we moved forward.

Focusing on the strengths of the project, we considered and emphasized:

  • The Strong Development team made up of Veterans and one Native American that were willing to guarantee the senior debt;
  • The location was in an opportunity zone and therefore attractive to equity investors;
  • UNC provided subsidized tuition for students such that annual tuition was $1,000 for instate students and $5,000 for out of state students, making it attractive even during Covid;
  • Average class size of 20 and its rural setting made it Covid resilient;
  • The stable enrollment numbers and the stable number of applications made it recession resistant;
  • The new building would assist the University in the future as it sought to replace older, more dense student housing with more modern, less dense and safer student housing.

We then targeted specialty lenders that seek projects in low income communities and that benefit low income individuals.

We were pleased to learn that, despite Covid, student enrollment did increase during the 2020/2021 school year, from 7,698 in the fall of 2019 to 8,262 in the fall of 2020 (an increase of 7.3%) and from 8,262 in the fall of 2020 to 8,319 in the fall of 2021.

We were grateful for the amount of Covid related federal stimulus funds that the University did receive. Phase I (180 units or doors) of the student housing project was completed in the fall of 2021 and is occupied with students!

Founded in 1887, UNCP remains the only public university in the country founded by Native American Indians (the Lumbee tribe) and Cedar was honored to be part of its story. 

Cedar Ventures

An Innovative Firm

We are not siloed to a specific product as is the case with larger firms. The number of years that we have worked on financings, over 30, provides us a framework to be creative as we have ‘seen a thing or two’.