Campus Property Management changes name, offloads 1,100 units in $150 million sale | Housing

CHAMPAIGN — Two local housing groups just closed on what may be the biggest property purchase in Champaign County history.

Community Property Management, formerly known as Campus Property Management, has sold more than 50 of its buildings around the University of Illinois campus for $150 million to Fairlawn Capital, a real-estate investment management firm with offices in Champaign and Chicago.

The sold properties contain 1,086 separate units, mainly student apartments. Fairlawn has its own housing division on the UI campus — Smile Student Living, with more than 1,500 apartments.

Brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap arranged the nine-figure transaction after learning Campus Property Management was “ready to divest” from its student-housing holdings, said Scott Harris, the brokerage firm’s senior managing director of investments.

Fairlawn “wanted to expand its footprint in the Champaign-Urbana market and recognized the value-add opportunity to reposition a number of the assets through unit upgrades and reconfigurations, as well as the addition of select amenities,” he said.

Campus Property Management has leased properties in the Campustown area for more than 50 years. Its most recent development was completed three years ago.

Sometime in 2021, the business changed the word “Campus” in its name to “Community” and began showcasing off-campus properties such as Hessel on the Park and 217 Neil on its website.

“We are pleased to acquire this sizable and well-located portfolio on the UIUC campus and are excited for the long-term potential as we reposition these assets with our best-in-class management team,” Will Thompson, managing partner of Fairlawn Capital, saidin a press release.

The search for a buyer for CPM’s campus properties began near the end of 2020, Harris said. The sale occurred in four separate “tranches,” or groupings of housing properties, the first of which happened in September 2021.

“We looked at the possibility of selling the properties to more than one group, but (CPM) preferred to sell it to one buyer,” Harris said.

Harris said he’s “relatively certain” the specs of the sale — $150 million, more than 50 buildings, nearly 1,100 units — exceed anything Champaign County’s ever seen.

“Looking at comparable sales in the market, we haven’t found any that were in that magnitude,” he said.

The News-Gazette was not able to reach Fairlawn Capital or Community Property Management for further comment.

Campus Property Management buildings sold to Fairlawn Capital

Address Units
401 W Springfield 4
107 E Healey 21
106-108 E Healey 36
307 W Columbia 2
103 McCullough 4
404 E Clark 10
608 E Chalmers 18
506 S Fourth 24
506 W Elm 11
304 E Daniel 36
301 E Chalmers 17
905 W Oregon 18
105 S Wright 25
804 W Illinois 28
48 E John 28
1009 W Stoughton 8
103 E Chalmers 16
507 S Fourth 16
812 W Nevada 10
907 W Oregon 14
303 E Green 14
408 E Healey 64
52 E Armory 52
57 E Chalmers 20
202 E Chalmers 40
408 E Springfield 44
104 NL&809WS 23
107-11 E Springfield 64
809-13WS105NB Urbana Commons 60
51-53 E Green 31
405 E Stoughton 12
402 S Fifth 10
608 E White 12
402 N Gregory 8
212 E White 8
301 E Clark 8
1010 W Stoughton 60
903-909 S Locust 20
57 E John 12
1106 S Euclid 21
503 E Stoughton 12
806 S Third 10
106-108 N Busey 3
709 W Stoughton 1
106 S Gregory 25
510 E White 10
615 S Wright 56
606 E Stoughton 24
309 E John 16
TOTAL 1086