University Group buying 17 Barr buildings

University Group buying 17 Barr buildings

CHAMPAIGN — The University Group has agreed to acquire Barr Real Estate's apartments on and around the University of Illinois campus.

Dan Hamelberg, chairman of the University Group, said the transaction involves 276 units in 17 buildings on campus. The buildings range in size from six to 24 units, he said. That will boost the number of apartments the University Group has to more than 1,000, Hamelberg said.

The University Group is also taking on management of 266 apartments that Barr previously managed, said Chris Hamelberg, general manager of the University Group.

Vance and Dave Barr of Barr Real Estate released a statement saying they intend to exit the apartment business but will continue to manage their own commercial properties.

The apartment properties the University Group isn't buying are being marketed for sale, the Barrs said.

"We are no longer actively involved in commercial real-estate brokerage, and we no longer manage commercial properties for third parties," the Barrs stated.

The Barrs said they intend to put proceeds from the sale into a variety of commercial properties throughout the United States.

"The changes we are making are a critical component in the evolution of our business model that we have been working toward for 20-plus years," the Barrs said.

"These changes enable us to broaden and diversify our asset base and to expand our business in a variety of strategically attractive directions," they added.