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Auraria Student Housing at Regency, LLC v. Campus Village Apartments, LLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

September 8, 2014

AURARIA STUDENT HOUSING AT THE REGENCY, LLC, a Colorado limited liability company, Plaintiff,
v.
CAMPUS VILLAGE APARTMENTS, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

WILLIAM J. MARTÍNEZ, District Judge.

Plaintiff Auraria Student Housing at the Regency, LLC ("Plaintiff") brings this action against Campus Village Apartments, LLC ("Defendant"). Before this Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) ("Motion"). (ECF No. 137.) For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

The relevant facts, in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the nonmovant, are as follows.

Plaintiff leases and operates an apartment complex in Denver under the trade name The Regency - Auraria's Student Housing Community, LLC (the "Regency"). (ECF No. 72-4 ¶ 3.) The Regency is dedicated to providing off-campus housing for students attending classes on the campus of the Auraria Higher Education Center campus ("Auraria Campus") in Denver. ( Id. ¶ 4.) The Regency is located a few miles away from the Auraria Campus. (ECF Nos. 75 p. 6; 75-9.)

Defendant is a limited liability company whose sole member is the University of Colorado Real Estate Foundation ("CUREF"). (ECF No. 72-2 ¶ 2.) Defendant owns the Campus Village Apartments, another apartment complex dedicated to providing off-campus housing for students at the Auraria Campus. ( Id. ¶¶ 2, 21.) Campus Village Apartments is located on land adjacent to the Auraria Campus. (ECF No. 72-21 p. 12.)

In response to a 2004 study that found that the Auraria Campus had a housing demand (ECF No. 72-5 p. 3), the University of Colorado Denver ("UCD") approached CUREF to construct student housing on land adjacent to campus. (Def. Br. (ECF No. 138) p. 7.) CUREF formed Defendant in order to construct the Campus Village Apartments. (ECF No. 72-21 p. 12.)

The Campus Village Apartments opened in time for the fall 2006 semester at UCD. (Def. Br. p. 13.) In order to minimize Defendant's risks associated with the new housing, UCD instituted a live-in requirement, whereby most full-time domestic freshmen and international students were required, during their first two semesters of enrollment at UCD, to reside at the Campus Village Apartments (the "Residency Requirement"). (ECF Nos. 72-11; 72-21 p. 12.)

In May 2008, UCD, CUREF, and Defendant entered into an operating agreement regarding the Campus Village Apartments (the "2008 Agreement"). (ECF Nos. 72-20; 72-21 p. 5.) Pursuant to the 2008 Agreement, UCD agreed to continue enforcing the Residency Requirement. (ECF No. 72-20 ¶ 2.1.) In return, Defendant gave UCD students placement priority at the Campus Village Apartments with a specific number of beds dedicated each year for UCD students. ( Id. ¶ 2.3.)

Plaintiff alleges that from August 2006 through July 2014, the Regency lost $3, 420, 000 due to this, and other, agreements between Defendant and UCD. (ECF No. 150-34 pp. R 00913, R 00920.)

On these facts, Plaintiff filed this action against Defendant on October 14, 2010. (ECF No. 1.) On February 7, 2011, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint alleging four claims for relief: (1) conspiracy to monopolize, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2; (2) civil conspiracy; (3) interference with prospective business relations; and (4) interference with existing contractual relations. (ECF No. 19 ¶¶ 70-88.)

On May 3, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on its first claim (conspiracy to monopolize) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. (ECF No. 71.) On January 22, 2014, the Court denied Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, finding that questions of fact existed as to whether Defendant intended to exclude competition and control prices in the student housing market. (ECF No. 136 at 6, 7.)

On January 30, 2014, Defendant filed the instant Motion seeking summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's claims. (ECF No. 137.) On March 17, 2014, Plaintiff filed its Opposition to Defendant's Motion (ECF No. 150), and Defendant filed its Reply on April 3, 2014 (ECF No. 156). On August 21, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Unopposed Motion for Leave to Cite Supplemental Authority Relevant on Defendant's ...


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