American Campus Communities CEO Says Development Highest Priority

Bill Bayless, CEO and co-founder of American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC), joined Nareit for a video interview at REITworld 2017.

The student housing REIT’s total managed portfolio consists of 204 properties with more than 130,000 beds.

American Campus has been a net buyer of student housing in 2017, purchasing a total of $800 million in assets. A major portion of that total—$591 million—reflects the purchase of a portfolio from affiliates of Core Spaces and DRW Real Estate Investments, he noted.

According to Bayless, the acquisition allows the company to expand in its existing markets and into Seattle, “which has been on our radar to enter for quite some time.”

Meanwhile, development continues to be “the highest priority on our capital allocation chart,” Bayless said. American Campus has a development pipeline of about $2 billion through 2019.

Consulting firm EY named Bayless its 2017 Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year.