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The Preiss Company Enters Illinois Housing Market with University Village at Champaign Acquisition

Raleigh real estate company partners with The Collier Companies to purchase the 792-bed apartment community

RALEIGH, NC – June 1, 2011 – The Preiss Company, one of the largest off-campus student housing providers in the nation, is pleased to announce its recent purchase of University Village at Champaign, a 792-bed apartment property located four miles from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The acquisition—led by The Preiss Company’s Vice President of Business Development, John Preiss, and Executive Vice President, Susan Folckemer—was a joint venture with The Collier Companies.

University Village at Champaign, formerly known as 88 West, is located at 2001 N. Moreland Boulevard and will be managed by Mitch Kesler with Adam Byrley acting as the regional manager. The property features two bedroom/two bath, three bedroom/three bath, and four bedroom/four bath units. Residents can take advantage of a full range of amenities including pool with sun deck, tanning beds, indoor and sand volleyball courts, game room with billiards, computer lounge, study rooms, fitness center, and indoor and outdoor basketball courts. The property represents both The Preiss Company’s and The Collier Companies’ first acquisition into the Urbana-Champaign student housing market and fits into their strategic goal of expanding their current footprint into the Midwest. Susan Folckemer said that the property had suffered from oversupply in the market and that The Preiss Company saw it as “a diamond in the rough”.

“University Village at Champaign was a complicated transaction,” says Folckemer. “We did a note purchase as a deed in lieu of foreclosure and had the privilege of teaming up with our good friends at The Colliers Companies on this acquisition. Our two companies have always wanted to do a project together since we complement each other geographically, and this particular deal seemed like the perfect fit.”

The Colliers Companies owns and manages more than 9,800 apartment units in Gainesville, Ocala, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, and other Florida locations, as well as Norman, Oklahoma. The company has been recognized as the largest multifamily owner/operator in north central Florida and was named in November 2007 by Real Estate Forum magazine as a leading owner and investor in multifamily real estate in the country. Company Chief Executive Office, Andy Hogshead, said the deal came together quickly and that “trust speeds things up.”

“When Donna Preiss [founder and CEO of The Preiss Company] called us up and asked if The Collier Companies wanted to be her partner, I was delighted to say, ‘Yes’”, says Hogshead. “The Collier Companies prides itself on operating excellence, so it is high praise to say that we were comfortable letting Preiss Company be the operating partner in a 50/50 equity deal. It is always a pleasure to work with industry professionals like Preiss that you know and respect."

The Preiss Company, a recent recipient of Student Housing Business’ “Innovator Award” in the category of Best Bandwidth Solution, says that it plans to increase the property’s current bandwidth and will rebrand the property through a new website, a mobile website, and social media. The company will also be hosting several social activities, as well as implementing all of their NOI, Leasing Velocity, Rent Optimizer, and other tools to increase exposure to their key demographic.

“Every market creates an opportunity and the Illinois market is no exception,” adds John Preiss. “Student housing continues to be a sound investment, and we look forward to introducing both The Preiss Company and The Collier Companies to the Urbana-Champaign community.”

Berkadia Commercial Mortgage provided financing for the acquisition. The transaction was completed within 45 days.

About The Preiss Company
Founded in 1987 by Donna Preiss, The Preiss Company provides a wide range of services including acquisition, property management, due diligence, construction management, development, and consulting for multi-family real estate investments. Beginning its 24th year, the company has formed over 50 partnerships and developed over 20 projects stretching from Maryland to Texas. For more information, visit

About The Colliers Companies
The Collier Companies (TCC) is a team of highly-motivated people who are dedicated to quality, excellence, and outstanding service. We have chosen to create a company culture based in large measure on principled profit: We earn prosperity by creating value as defined first, last, and always by our customers.

Part of TCC’s strategic vision calls for taking customer service to a new level, unprecedented in the housing industry. We want to always pleasantly surprise, even astonish, our residents with our service, consistently underpromising and overperforming. If we tell a resident that we'll take care of a problem the same day, we aim to get it done within the hour. As we achieve this, our customer service becomes a marketing advantage, a difference that our residents see and feel on a daily basis. For more information, visit

Press Contact:
Amy Barger, Marketing Director
The Preiss Company
(919) 532-1114