A North Carolina developer and Chicago equity firm are joining forces to develop $220 million of housing projects catering to students. Charlotte, N.C.-based Campus Crest Communities has already broken ground on three of the 10 projects, all of which will be branded under the name “The Grove.”

Executives at Campus Crest and its partner in the joint venture, Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, plan to follow up on the first 10 off-campus projects with new phases of student projects as part of an ongoing relationship.

“Because of various factors, particularly the substantial growth in college admissions across the country, student housing is an especially attractive asset class for us and our investors,” says Christopher Merrill, co-founder and managing partner of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital.

Eight of The Grove projects are slated for completion in time for the 2009-2010 academic year. The remaining properties will break ground in the fourth quarter of 2009. “Each of these projects will serve the growing demand for student housing in their respective markets for years to come,” says Shannon King, partner and president of Campus Crest’s property management subsidiary. “They will also serve a growing demand among college students for high-end amenities and personal safety.”

The off-campus properties will serve students at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn; University of Central Arkansas at Conway, Ark.; Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas; University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.; University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho; University of Nevada, Reno in Reno; Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas; Texas State University in San Marcos; Georgia Southern University in Statesboro; and California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock.

A typical Grove project has 504 bedrooms and measures approximately 218,000 sq. ft. Units are fully furnished and include a washer and dryer. All bedrooms have a private bathroom and walk-in closet.

Campus Crest operates 18 student housing communities in nine states.