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Student housing investor

Pierce Education Properties L.P. (PEP), a San Diego-based student housing and real estate investment, management and development firm serving educational institutions and communities, announced that it has acquired North Campus Crossing (Phase I and Phase II), a 1,692-bed, off-campus student housing complex at Eastern Carolina University.

The acquisition was through a joint venture with an affiliate of Core Properties LLC.

The $56.5 million acquisition was completed on February 1, 2013. A $26.8 million loan held by Midland Loan Services Inc. was assumed for the Phase I purchase and a Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) loan of $19.8 million was secured through Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP to finance the Phase II acquisition.

PEP Property Management, a division of Pierce Education, will manage the property.

Developed in 2005 and 2006, North Campus Crossing is a 600-unit, gated property within three miles of campus and is contiguous to ECU's North Campus Recreation Center which features a man-made lake and beach, ECU’s intramural fields, a zip line and Frisbee golf course.

The property consist of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units with bed to bath parity.

Units are fully furnished and include full size washer/dryer, kitchen and appliances.

Property amenities include: three pools with cabana lounge and pirate ship waterfall, two hot tubs, campus shuttle, computer center, study rooms, a gymnasium, fitness center, aerobics room, 15-seat theater/media center, five tanning beds, six basketball courts, sand volleyball courts and a game room.

Pierce and Core plan to invest nearly $1 million in improvements, including an upgraded Cyber Café with more computers and printers, modern pool furniture, stand-up HEX tanning beds, and additional fitness center equipment.

With a national 4,500-bed portfolio, Pierce is among the top 25 owners and managers of student housing in the United States.

The North Campus Crossing acquisition brings PEP's purchases since 2007 to approximately $350 million, ranking the company among the top 10 buyers of student apartments in the country over that timeframe.

Rabbit problem

(AP) – Rabbits are wreaking havoc on cars parked at Denver International Airport by eating spark plug cables and other wiring.

To stop the problem, federal wildlife workers are removing at least 100 bunnies a month while parking companies install better fences and build perches for predator hawks and eagles.

KCNC-TV reported Thursday there's another way to stop the damage that can cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Mechanics say coating the wires with fox or coyote urine can rob the rabbits of their appetite. Fox urine can be purchased at many hunting shops.

Canadian resales

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian existing home sales rose for the first time in four months in January on gains in Toronto and Vancouver, a Realtor group said.

Sales rose 1.3 percent to 35,878 units from December, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday.

Toronto sales gained 5.6 percent to 7,011 units and in Vancouver they increased 4.7 percent to 1,998 homes.

The economy is at risk from a long period of rising consumer debt and low interest rates even with recent signs housing has moderated, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Timothy Lane said on Feb.

The central bank kept its key rate at 1 percent last month, where it's been since September 2010, and said the case for an increase is “less imminent” as it forecast housing would weigh on economic growth through 2014.

Sales fell 5.2 percent in January from a year earlier and the average price rose 2 percent to C$354,754 ($352,358), according to the report.

KKR buys solar

(Bloomberg) -- KKR & Co. agreed to buy three solar photovoltaic projects from an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group.

The projects, located in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, have the ability to produce enough power for about 7,000 households, according to a statement Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Ontario has been at the forefront of encouraging new development to bring additional renewables capacity online, and with this acquisition, we are playing a meaningful role in the growth of renewables in the province,” said Raj Agrawal, KKR's (NYSE: KKR) head of North American infrastructure.

Sri Lanka water

(Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka signed a 35 million-euro ($47 million) loan with Hungary's Exim bank to rehabilitate water treatment plants that serve parts of the capital Colombo, according to the finance ministry’s website.

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