Mill Creek Residential Buys Texas Rental Communities

Mill Creek Residential Trust has acquired a trio of apartment communities in Houston and Austin. The three communities, all located in urban infill locations, comprise a total of 589 apartment homes.

Dallas—Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC has acquired a trio of apartment communities in Houston and Austin, the national apartment developer announced in late August. The three communities, all located in urban infill locations, comprise a total of 589 apartment homes.

Mill Creek’s “Buy Where We Build” philosophy has never been more clearly reflected than in these purchases. The company already has communities under construction or in the planning stages in Houston and Austin. Officials believe both markets are characterized by solid job fundamentals, employment growth and strong consumer demand for apartments.

“All of the properties are very close to city centers, and either surrounded by office buildings or a five-minute drive from major employment centers,” says Mark Dempsey, executive managing director of acquisitions for Dallas-based Mill Creek Residential.

In Houston, Mill Creek acquired La Tour Fontaine, a Class A, 162-unit community featuring one and two-bedroom apartments. The community is situated in the Galleria area, an exceptionally strong rental market. It’s also close to the Uptown Houston job corridor.

Also in Houston, the company acquired The Place at Greenway, a 219-apartment rental community located within walking distance of Greenway Plaza, an enormous employment district where more than 22,000 Houstonians work. Situated between two affluent and desirable communities, River Oaks and West University Place, The Place at Greenway features one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as covered parking throughout.

Woodmoor, located in Austin’s South Lamar, or SoLa neighborhood, features 208 one- and two-bedroom and studio apartment homes. Among its prime selling points is walkability to restaurant and entertainment options, as well as access to the Central Business District and Southwest Austin’s employment hubs.

“In all three, we had to do careful due diligence to understand the elements that needed to be fixed, and ensure we were well capitalized to make the changes needed,” Dempsey says.

“We are trying to enhance the resident experience, which is the same thing we do at our newly-built properties in the same markets . . . In every market, we have local partners with 10 years or more experience, and we ask those partners what residents value most in that market.

“Then we look for opportunities in those markets that either offer those values or with some cosmetic upgrades can satisfy residents’ needs.”

Mill Creek’s development communities in Texas include Victory Park and Courtyard at Knox in Dallas, Austin’s Barton Springs, and Houston’s Uptown River Oaks, which together total more than 1,100 apartment homes. Nationally, Mill Creek has more than 10,000 apartment homes under construction on in the planning stages.

The acquisition of the properties in Houston and Austin should mean good things for current and future residents of the communities, says Mill Creek spokeswoman Heather Campbell. “Then will get attentive and professional management teams,” she says. “Combine a great management team with a great physical environment, and things will be great at home.”