Nelson Partners Sells 448-Bed NAU Student Community

The Commons at Sawmill. Image courtesy of Coastal Ridge Real Estate A partnership between Coastal…

The Commons at Sawmill. Image courtesy of Coastal Ridge Real Estate

A partnership between Coastal Ridge Real Estate and Goldman Sachs has acquired The Commons at Sawmill, a 448-bed community in Flagstaff, Ariz., serving the students at Northern Arizona University. Nelson Partners previously bought the property in 2016 for $37.1 million, Yardi Matrix data shows. Coastal Ridge will manage the community.

Completed in 1995, The Commons at Sawmill encompasses 14 buildings with studio, two- and four-bedroom floorplans, varying from 405 to 1,006 square feet with in-unit laundry facilities. Community amenities include a fitness center, game area, theatre, study rooms and a newly built clubhouse.

Located at 901 S. O’Leary St., the community is within walking distance of the Northern Arizona University campus and the NAU Recreation Center. University Plaza Shopping Center is within 1 mile of the community and other retail options, such as Target and Walmart, are less than 1.5 miles and 2 miles away, respectively.

NAU has registered a 10.3 percent annual rent growth as of March, a Yardi Matrix report shows. Currently, there are 12 dedicated properties and 6,884 bedrooms serving students at NAU. Another community is underway and is expected to add 764 bedrooms to the inventory, according to Yardi Matrix data.

Executive Vice President Jaclyn Fitts, alongside Senior Vice Presidents Casey Schaefer and William Vonderfecht of CBRE brokered the transaction.

At the beginning of the year, Nelson Partners sold another Arizona community. Tara Investment Group paid $36.1 million for The Mark, a 229-bed property serving students at Arizona State University.

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