Gayle Benson’s private investment company said it has taken a stake in two new properties aimed at providing accommodations to students in the Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth areas.

Benson Capital Partners, the Saints and Pelicans owner’s venture capital firm, said the property investments were made via BCP’s $50 million real estate fund started early last year with $10 million from Benson and $40 million from other investors. The new investments bring to eight the fund’s real estate investments so far, including three in Louisiana.

In Atlanta, Benson partnered with Pope & Land Real Estate to acquire a student housing property adjacent to Georgia Tech’s campus in Midtown Atlanta.

The 330-bed student apartment complex is located at 100 10th Street in Atlanta, directly across Interstate 85 from the McCamish Pavillion, Georgia Tech’s indoor sporting arena.

The size of Benson’s stake and other financial terms were not disclosed.

Student population

“With a growing student population and a robust demand for student housing, this investment represents a strategic move to capitalize on the region’s thriving educational ecosystem,” BCP said in a news release.

Other partners in the deal included Noro Management of Atlanta and The Helis Interests of New Orleans.

Benson Capital Partners real estate fund has invested in student accommodation in the Dallas suburb of Denton, the Panhandler at Rayzor Ranch at Panhandle Street.and East Park Boulevard. Courtesy Benson Capital Partners

In Texas, Benson invested in Panhandle at Rayzor Ranch, a 105-unit apartment development located in the north Dallas suburb of Denton, home to the University of North Texas and Texas Women’s University with a combined enrollment of nearly 60,000 students.

The property is located in the 400-acre Rayzor Ranch development that also includes nearly one million square feet of retail and medical outlets. Two Dallas-based investors, Town Companies and BC2 Capital, are partners in the deal with Benson.

The financial terms of that deal also were not disclosed.

Real estate moves

Separate from the real estate fund, Benson also increased her property interests two-and-a-half years ago when she bought brokerage Corporate Realty. Through that company, she recently took over the management of two office buildings whose owner, the Hertz Investment Group, was in default.

One was the Energy Centre in New Orleans, the other the Pinnacle building in Jackson, Mississippi.

Keith Schneider, Managing Director of Real Estate at BCP, said that the two new projects indicated that Benson’s fund has the “ability to source deals with leading local partners throughout the Southeast,” adding that they would continue to look closer to home as well. 

“We see ample opportunity for strategic investments throughout the region, and especially in our home state of Louisiana,” Schneider said.

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