SPI Advisory invests in property in the suburbs south of Austin

SPI Advisory (SPI) and its 1031 partners finalized the acquisition of The Bradford, a 264-unit, Class A- institutional-quality, value-add apartment community built in 2010 in the high-growth suburb of Buda, Texas, just a 20-minute drive south of Downtown Austin. This acquisition highlights SPI’s continued expansion in the submarket as one of Hays County’s largest landlords with nearly 1,100 units owned and operated between Buda & Kyle.

The area within a three-mile radius of The Bradford experienced a 159% increase in population over the past decade but Hays County has been identified as one of the fastest-growing counties in both Texas and the nation (U.S. Census Bureau; The Greater Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council, 2022).

Previous ownership upgraded a handful of the property’s existing units with premium finishes, appliances, and more contemporary design elements. SPI will continue programmatic upgrades to a handful of units per month for the next two years but intend to leave 50% of the property with affordably priced “classic” units to serve a broader range of prospective tenants long term. 

NRP Group celebrates opening of 368-unit multifamily project in Killeen

The NRP Group in partnership with The City of Killeen Public Facility Corporation, J.P. Morgan, and Texas Capital Bank, last week celebrated the grand-opening of Station42, a 368-unit mixed-income multifamily project in Killeen, Texas.

Station42 showcases NRP’s dedication to offering quality housing for Central Texas residents at all income levels, with a focus on the “missing middle” who face challenges affording market-rate rents amid the region’s rapid population growth. To meet this demand, more than half of the property’s units are reserved for residents earning less than 80 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Located near the corner of W.S. Young Drive and East Veterans Memorial Boulevard, adjacent to Conder Park, Station42 boasts a robust onsite amenities package. Residents will have access to a 24-hour fitness center, club room, gaming area, kitchen and dining space, and a coworking lounge space complete with two tech-enabled conference rooms.

The development’s outdoor amenities include a dog park and entertainment area with dining space, a resort-style pool and a grilling deck. A package concierge and private, detached parking garages with EV charging stations are also available. The property is in proximity to Killeen’s historic downtown.

In-unit finishes include keyless fob entry, in-suite washers and dryers, LED backlit mirrors, built-in USB ports, and, in select units, balconies are available. Kitchens feature stainless steel appliances, maple white quartz countertops, white brick kitchen backsplashes, undermount sinks and under-cabinet kitchen lighting.

Killeen has a population of nearly 160,000, making it the 19th-most populous city in Texas and the largest of the three principal cities of Bell County. Due to the city’s proximity to Fort Cavazos, Killeen’s local economy is interconnected with the activities of the post, and the soldiers and their families stationed there. 

J.P. Morgan partnered with The NRP Group to provide equity investment in the project, while construction financing was provided by Texas Property Bank.

OHT Partners starts construction on 293-unit apartment community in Houston market

OHT Partners LLC has broken ground on its second upscale apartment community in one of Houston’s busiest submarkets.

Lenox Timbergrove, the 293-unit, five-story complex is rising at 2825 W. 11th Street. The site is in the heart of a burgeoning area just west of the Houston Heights and north of the Washington Avenue corridor in the Lazybrook/Timbergove area. 

The 5-story, Class-A complex will feature studio, one, and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 500 to 1,150 square feet. Each home features: modern designs, stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, smart-home technology and more. Community amenities include: a resort-style pool, outdoor pavilion with gas grills and kitchen, indoor pet spa, 24-hour co-working space, artificial turf game lawn, and more.

This is the second recent luxury apartment community start in the Greater Heights / Washington Avenue submarket of Houston for OHT Partners. This past May, the firm broke ground on Lenox Heights, a 359-unit community less than three miles away at 333 W. 24th Street.

The project is slated to open its doors near the end of 2025, and rental ranges will be determined closer to the project’s opening date.

Partners Real Estate lands 522,790-square-foot management assignment in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston

Partners Real Estate has secured a five-building property management assignment totaling 522,790 square feet across Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.

The Etchepare Family recently closed on the following properties and has tapped Partners’ Property Management team in the Dallas office to manage its entire portfolio:

780 Shiloh, Plano 114,655-sq.-ft
5556 Tennyson, Plano 98,110-sq.-ft
9702 Ball Street, San Antonio 31,800-sq.-ft.
1714 14th Street, Plano 143,771-sq.-ft.
Mesa East, Houston 134,454-sq.-ft

Built Technologies survey: Commercial lenders confident that 2024 will be a better year

A new survey suggests that commercial lenders expect a busier year in 2024, thanks largely to a more stable interest-rate environment.

The survey conducted by Nashville-based Built Technologies, a provider of construction and real estate finance technology, shows that lenders in the United States are largely optimistic about the financial viability of real estate investment in 2024.

The company’s first State of Lending Survey gathered responses from 117 national, regional and global lending institutions.

According to Dan Gendler, director of analytics at Built, lenders expressed confidence that Federal Reserve Board rate cuts will boost lending activity in the commercial real estate market. They expressed concerns, though, over government regulations and project completion timelines.

Lenders responding to the survey also said that they expect alternative lending sources to fill the gaps left by traditional institutions unable to bear certain risks, either due to regulatory constraints or balance sheet considerations.

Cushman & Wakefield reps Epic Real Estate Partners in $100 million refinancing of grocery-anchored centers

Cushman & Wakefield represented Austin, Texas-based Epic Real Estate Partners in the $100 million refinancing of a portfolio of five grocery-anchored retail centers.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Dallas-based Equity Debt & Structured Finance team of Executive Managing Director Beth Lambert, Managing Director Chase Johnson, Senior Financial Analyst Caleb Riebe and Brokerage Analyst Andrew White represented Epic Real Estate Partners in the transaction.

The Class-A retail portfolio includes grocery-anchored centers in the Chicago, Minneapolis, Kauai, Tucson and Dallas markets. The 625,000-square-foot portfolio is 93.2% leased and anchored by Cub Foods, Kroger, Bashas, Safeway and Jewel Osco.

Properties in the portfolio include:

  • Eagan Towne Centre – 1276 Town Centre Dr, Eagan, Minnesota
  • Ventana Village – 6890 E Sunrise Dr, Tucson, Arizona
  • Preston Trail Village – 17194 Preston Rd, Dallas
  • Kauai Village – 4-831 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, Hawaii
  • Cobbler Crossing – 1020 Summit St, Elgin, Illinois

“Move swiftly”: Real estate attorney predicts 2024 trends

Due diligence has always been an important component of commercial real estate ownership and development. Lenders vetted developers. Developers vetted tenants. You know the drill. But now more than ever, that attention to detail has become absolutely critical to navigate the increasingly tricky world of CRE.

To shed light on the evolving legal landscape within the industry, REDnews turned to Blake Royal, shareholder and real estate group chair at Houston-Based BoyarMiller Attorneys at Law. He’s spent his career representing clients landowners, developers, investors and municipalities in their joint ventures, development and property management agreements, acquisitions and dispositions, leasing and financing.

One overarching theme that Royal highlighted going into 2024 is the increasing importance of due diligence across all levels of the industry. Both landlords and tenants are now more meticulous in their scrutiny, each vetting the other to mitigate potential risks. Landlords, in particular, are taking a closer look at the financial stability of their tenants, wary of inadvertently assuming the role of a financial institution.

On the flip side, tenants are carefully evaluating landlords to ensure they are not dealing with entities that might pose financial risks down the line. In this era of heightened caution, there is a group maneuvering with ease.

“My clients who are well-capitalized have been able to win high-quality deals because they can move swiftly,” shared Royal, who has a background in both real estate law and corporate transactional law.

He also emphasized the significance of due diligence in the context of sellers scrutinizing potential buyers. Even when deals seem promising, sellers are approaching transactions with a discerning eye to ensure that buyers have the capacity to close successfully. This trend again underscores the critical role that well-capitalized clients play in the current market, as their financial strength positions them to emerge victorious in negotiations and transactions.

Among 2023’s standout cases for Royal, whose practice includes all facets of real estate development in Houston and beyond, was the successful closure of a development loan for the first phase of a multi-building industrial development. Despite facing delays related to permitting issues, the collaboration with a patient and supportive lender proved invaluable.

“It really exemplified the value that great partners provide,” Royal stressed, noting that strategic alliances contribute significantly to successful outcomes.

Looking at the year ahead, Royal anticipates a potential make-or-break scenario for property owners. While not necessarily a new issue, the challenge lies in the timing of refinancing. Owners fortunate enough to delay refinancing until the end of 2024 may find themselves in a more favorable position, securing decent refinancing rates or attracting potential buyers, especially as interest rates trend downwards.

“But others will find themselves without a chair when the music turns off,” said Royal.

Speed, he predicted, will be rewarded in 2024. In an environment where quick decision-making and execution are paramount, sellers are inclined to favor buyers with a reputation for closing deals swiftly. However, this urgency comes with its own set of challenges, as commitments to accelerated timetables may limit the luxury of extensions. As interest rates decline, sellers may become more willing to terminate deals if they believe they can secure a higher price, introducing an additional layer of complexity to an already fast-paced and competitive market.

With due diligence, strategic partnerships and timely decision-making, Royal suggested CRE professionals will find success in the opportunities 2024 may bring.