The New York Times has an interview with Albert Rabil III, head of Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors, which specializes in student housing. Last year the firm sold about half its portfolio, 13,000 beds, for around $860 million. In the Q&A, there’s a Lower East Side angle:
Q. Are there plans to move into New York City?
A. We would love to have something in New York. We are definitely morphing toward the more urban markets, because we want “very high barrier to entry” markets, and New York is about as high as you get. The trick is being able to build, buy or rehab something that’s affordable.
We’re looking at a deal right now in New York City, on the Lower East Side. It’s a building that’s been vacant for 11 years — it was a former school building. We are now in negotiations.
This property is zoned such that you would have to master-lease the housing to two universities. You couldn’t lease directly to students.
The building is not named but speculation will inevitably be focused on the former Charas/El Bohio Cultural Center/P.S. 64 on East 9th Street. See EV Grieve for more of this back story.