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Berkadia Secures $40.3M in Financing for Houston, Southwest Fort Worth Acquisitions

18 Dec 2014, 9:12 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Thornbury Apartments in Houston

The Austin office of Berkadia recently announced that it has helped secure a total of $40.3 million in financing for the acquisition of Thornbury Apartments in Houston and The Retreat at River Ranch Apartments in Southwest Fort Worth.

Berkadia Senior Vice President Andy Hill operated on behalf of borrowers AHC Thornbury Owner LLC and Mosaic Hillstone LP and helped obtain the following seven-year, floating-rate loans through Freddie Mac:

  • A $29 million loan on behalf of AHC Thornbury Owner for the acquisition of Thornbury, which includes a sub-2.5 percent interest rate, three years of interest-only payments and a 30-year amortization schedule.
  • An $11.3 million loan on behalf of Mosaic Hillstone for The Retreat at River Ranch Apartments that features a sub-2.5 percent interest rate, two years of interest-only payments and a 30-year amortization schedule.

Located at 7055 Hollister Road, Thornbury Apartments comprises 408 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Residential amenities include a clubhouse, a fitness center, a basketball court, a resort-style pool and attached and detached garages. At the time of the acquisition, the apartment complex was 96 percent leased.

Located near the Chisholm Trail Parkway at Interstate 20 in Southwest Fort Worth, The Retreat at River Ranch Apartments consists of 248 one- and two-bedroom units. Residents can enjoy amenities such as a fitness center, a picnic area, a spa and a swimming pool. At the time of the closing, the asset was 94 percent leased.

“We are seeing a continued appetite for multifamily properties in Texas as we approach year end,” Hill said in an official statement. “Our team leveraged its longstanding relationship with Freddie Mac and on-the-ground market expertise to meet the borrowers’ needs and secure competitive loan terms.”

Image courtesy of Berkadia 

City of Sugar Land, ACE Theatrical Group Break Ground on $74.3M Performance Venue

11 Dec 2014, 2:22 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

ACE Center Sugar Land

The city of Sugar Land, in partnership with ACE Theatrical Group, has broken ground on a unique, $74.3 million state-of-the-art performance venue. The facility will be developed on a 38.5-acre tract located southeast of U.S. Highway 59 and University Boulevard.

The project was designed to be able to accommodate a wide range of types of performances through the implementation of moveable walls – depending on the performance and on needs, the facility’s size can be increased from 3,300 seats to more than 6,400.

According to an official statement, amenities of the theater include seating with cup holders, luxury suites, corporate hospitality areas, quality finishes and convenient parking. Through its unique design and amenities, Sugar Land officials hope that the venue “will set a new standard in the touring industry and change the entertainment landscape in the Houston-Woodlands-Sugar Land metro region.”

The facility was spurred by a 2008 Market Analysis and Feasibility Study performed by CSL International, which showed that the Houston market is in need of such a performance venue and that it would be financially feasible to develop one. In addition, the study showed that the project will help promote investment, create jobs and increase educational opportunities.

“A feasibility study conducted in 2012 shows the project will provide an annual benefit to the community of $26.1 million or a return of $572 million over 30 years,” said Mayor James Thompson. “The venue has the potential of attracting more than 260,000 paid attendees in year one, growing to more than 300,000 by year five.”

ITEX Group Prepares to Break Ground on New Affordable Housing Project

4 Dec 2014, 7:07 pm

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

The Village at Palm Center Rendering

ITEX Group, a private real estate investment firm headquartered in Port Arthur, Texas, will soon start work on turning an empty flea market into an affordable apartment and retail complex. Dubbed The Village at Palm Center, the project will feature about 222 housing units – 154 apartments and 68 townhomes – and 14,500 square feet of retail space.

Located at 5330 Griggs Road, the project received $15.3 million in federal funding from the Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery Program, which is meant to spur the creation of affordable housing for low- to moderate-income individuals affected by the hurricane.

According to the company’s official website, The Village at Palm Center will combine two- and three-story townhomes and apartment buildings, which will help create the foundation and character of the new neighborhood. In addition, parking will be supplemented with a parking garage for apartment residents and individual garages for townhome tenants.

Units’ amenities include Energy-Star appliances and light fixtures, nine-foot ceilings, laundry connections, granite counters, hardwood-style flooring, double crown molding and private storage. The community will also have at its disposal a promenade, resort-style pools, playgrounds, gazebos, a splash pad, barbecue pits and picnic tables. The center of the project will be a 4,000-square-foot community building with a computer lab, a state-of-the-art exercise facility, meeting areas, a coffee bar and a daycare center.

 Image courtesy of ITEX Group via official Website

JW Marriott, Pearl Hospitality Announce Grand Opening of JW Marriott Houston Downtown

27 Nov 2014, 4:39 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

JW Marriott Houston Downtown

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Pearl Hospitality recently held a grand opening for the 328-room JW Marriott Houston Downtown. The hotel is located at 806 Main St. in the historic Samuel F. Carter Building and represents Marriott’s first adaptive reuse project in Texas.

Designed by Gensler, the hotel features hot-riveted steel beams, luxury guest rooms, a spa by JW Worldwide, an extensive art gallery and a 16,000-square-foot event area. Interior design was handled by Wilson & Associates and MBCM Inc., which opted for a mixture of old and modern elements to adapt the historic building for the Modern Age.

“Houston’s downtown is not only a hub of global commerce but is also home to a thriving arts, cultural and culinary scene,” said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president & global brand manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts in an official statement. “We are excited to be celebrating this landmark opening in one of the city’s most flourishing neighborhoods. JW Marriott Houston Downtown is a milestone addition to the JW portfolio, providing guests with incomparable experiences, from a curated art collection and the first Spa by JW to superior cuisine at MainKitchen restaurant, all housed in Texas’ first skyscraper.”

The hotel features standard rooms as well as executive and presidential suites and long-term apartment suites. Each room comes with a bevy of high-end amenities, such as 55-inch LCD TVs and touch-screen room controls. In addition, guests at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown hotel will have at their disposal iPads preloaded with the iRiS application, which enables direct access to all the hotel’s facilities.

ARA Real Estate Investment Services Brokers Sale of 320-Unit Apartment Community

21 Nov 2014, 6:21 am

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor

Tiburon Apartment Community

ARA Real Estate Investment Services, on behalf of Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, recently helped with the sale of Tiburon, a 320-unit, Class A apartment community in Houston. The asset was acquired by a private individual for an undisclosed amount.

Tiburon had been under Lubert-Adler’s ownership since 2011, when it was purchased from its original developer, UDR Inc., as part of a large value-add multifamily investment strategy. For the past four years, Lubert-Adler has been hard at work with repositioning the $2 billion, multifamily portfolio. Until now, a significant number of assets have been repositioned and sold, according to the company’s official statement.

“In 2010, we made a strategic decision based on the belief that multifamily rental apartments provide one of the best opportunities to create risk-adjusted, superior returns, because a substantial portion of the overall return is in the form of current yield,” said Dean Adler, Lubert-Adler Partners CEO and Co-Founder. “We aimed for overall returns of 17-20 percent, with 10-12 percent of that target coming from current yield. “

Located just off Beltway 8, Tiburon is close to the Sam Houston Tollway, which includes large industrial employers such as Exxon, Toyota, Siemens and FedEx. In addition, the community has easy access to the Technology Corridor and the Greenspoint Business District. Apartments in the property feature dark-stained cabinets, black appliances, faux wood blinds and crown molding, while community amenities include a clubhouse, a business center, a fitness center and a swimming pool.

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