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Alignvest Management debuts Canadian student accommodation REIT

Alternative investment management firm Alignvest Management Corp. launched an open-ended real estate investment trust that seeks to acquire purpose-built student accommodation assets in Canada.

The new Alignvest Student Housing Real Estate Investment Trust has more than C$65 million in initial capital commitments. It is poised to become the largest owner/operator in Canada, thanks to access to significant additional capital from Alignvest Management and proceeds raised from subsequent offerings, according to a July 3 release.

The unincorporated REIT is purchasing its first purpose-built student accommodation property at 181 Lester St. in Waterloo, Ontario, in a transaction expected to close in July. The 455-bed asset near the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University is more than 98% leased.

The REIT is managed by Alignvest Student Housing Inc., with former InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust CEO Drew Coles serving as chairman. Former RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust CFO Robert Wolf; Alignvest Management's managing partner, Reza Satchu; and Alignvest Student Housing Inc. management partners Sanjil Shah and Jonathan Turnbull also serve on the REIT's board of trustees.