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VOL. 127 | NO. 5 | Monday, January 9, 2012

Education Realty Trust Rebrands, Promotes Key Execs

Daily News staff

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Memphis-based Education Realty Trust Inc. has had a busy few months, ending fourth-quarter 2011 with several new properties in hand and starting 2012 by turning over a new leaf entirely – to be more specific, a new name, a new logo, new positions for several key executives and a $28 million acquisition.

The developer, owner and manager of collegiate housing has changed its name to EdR – aligning it with its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol, EDR.

It’s not the first time the company has changed its name since it was founded in 1952; first came Allen & O’Hara Education Services Inc. followed by Allen & O’Hara Development LLC. The company took on its most recent name, Education Realty Trust, when it went public in January 2005.

John Malmo Marketing Consulting developed the new name and logo.

EdR is not the only Memphis-based real estate investment trust to shorten its name in the past year. Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc., an apartment-focused REIT, changed its name to MAA in March. Like EdR, the company’s new name matched its NYSE ticker symbol.

Just two days after EdR rebranded, it announced five top execs were moving up. Scott P. Casey was promoted to senior vice president and chief technology officer; J. Drew Koester to SVP and chief accounting officer; Christine J. Richards to SVP and chief operating officer; Matthew S. Fulton to VP of operations; and Joshua J. Wilson to VP of development.

And that wasn’t the end of EdR’s news this week. The REIT moved into the St. Louis market with its $28 million purchase of 3949 Lindell, a four-story, 256-bed apartment community adjacent to St. Louis University and 91 percent leased for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The lead-up to the end of the year was just as busy. In November, EdR bought a development near Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, for $57.4 million, as well as a development adjacent to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., for $27.5 million.

The company also closed a $6 million deal for a community adjacent to the University of Colorado-Boulder. It plans to sink $19.7 million into developing that community this year, adding 199 beds with plans for a summer 2013 opening.

A little more than a month after those acquisitions, EdR announced the University of Kentucky had selected it to negotiate the potential revitalization and expansion of more than 9,000 residence hall beds in the next seven to 10 years.

The first phase, which begins July 1, includes EdR assuming management of all the university’s 6,000 beds as well as the development, construction and ownership of a 600-bed community slated for an August 2013 opening, according to a statement.

On the financial front, 2011 was a banner year for EdR, which Motley Fool named the second-best residential REIT stock of the year. EDR’s 2011 dividend-adjusted return was 33.5 percent – second only to American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC), which had a dividend-adjusted return of 36.6 percent for the year.

“For context, the S&P 500 has returned 1.3 percent after dividends this year. In other words, the market has been basically flat,” Anand Chokkavelu noted in a Dec. 30 article on Motley Fool’s website, fool.com.

EDR shares closed Friday, Jan. 6, at $10.14, with a range between $9.99 and $10.23 during the trading day.

Within the past year, EDR has ranged between $7.16 and $10.52.

PROPERTY SALES 74 74 17,458
MORTGAGES 93 93 20,128
BUILDING PERMITS 126 126 36,072
BANKRUPTCIES 63 63 11,227