New Brand Launched Along With Houston’s Pearl Greenway
- Jun 19, 2013
Houston—The Morgan Group’s unveiling of Pearl Greenway in Houston isn’t just the launch of a highly upscale apartment community. It is also ushering in the company’s new luxury Pearl apartment brand.
Situated in the heart of Greenway Plaza, Pearl Greenway is a Class A+ four- and five-story property featuring 341 units spread across studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans. Each unit features iPod docking stations, USB outlets, upscale wood floors, and a choice of Modern, Modern Ranch or Metropolitan custom finishes, among other high-end amenities.
The Morgan Group, which is based in Houston, developed Pearl Greenway on a 4.5-acre site it acquired two years ago. It will also manage the property.
“We started building Class A properties in 1989, at the end of the last real estate bust,” CEO Mike Morgan tells MHN. “And looking back, we learned that was the least risky time to build. So we were anxious to get a development off the ground and try to be in the first wave of a recovering market.”
Having developed more than 1,400 units in the same submarket, Morgan was very confident of Pearl Greenway’s location. “It’s infill located between some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Houston, [including] River Oaks, Highland Village and West University,” he says. The development also is well situated to employment centers of Greenway Plaza, the Galleria, downtown Houston and the medical center. Its walk score is 94, and is walking distance to many popular eateries and shops, a movie theater, Costco and a signature LA Fitness.
Among the premium indoor amenities of the property are a state-of-the-art platinum athletic club, cyber café, business center and custom lounge.
Awaiting Pearl Greenway residents outside are a Vegas-style swimming pool with private cabanas, Zen lap pool and covered bar area with barbecue grills. A custom dog park features the most advanced qualities of such canine quarters, including fountain, play obstacles and dog wash.
The community is NAHB “Green” Building Certified, and offers earth-friendly features like electric car charging stations and door-to-door recycling pickup.
Several challenges had to be surmounted to make the development a reality.
“First, when we started to look for equity, the capital markets were in disarray,” Morgan says. “The only quote we received was one sided towards the capital provider. Considering the location, timing and track record in the submarket, we decided to finance privately. This took the usual pressure off of meeting deadlines and asking for approvals from a third party.”
Influenced by the ideas of Steve Jobs on innovation and pushing the envelope, Morgan Group officials continually asked themselves what type of product wasn’t being seen in the market. “Houston has some of the best builders in the country, and it’s very competitive,” Morgan says. “Each meeting began with, ’How can we separate ourselves from the competition?’ We all became jazzed about doing something different. We have a very talented development team, and once the creative juices started to flow, it became more fun and lively around the office. That’s when the Pearl brand was born.”
Gaining construction financing was the easiest task, given the synergistic relationship The Morgan Group has honed with JP Morgan Chase over the past 25 years. “The toughest part of construction was not only the labor shortage, but the way the building was designed, covering the entire site,” Morgan says.
“We had very little room to stage materials and equipment. It had to be built in phases, even though the property is completely adjoined as one building,” he continues. “Also, we had to leave a hole in the building right at our front door, so all the construction equipment could get into the courtyard to work.”
Thus far, renter traffic has been strong and response has been favorable, Morgan adds. “The overall development fits in with the office buildings, high-rise condos and retail neighboring the property,” he says. “We took painstaking care saving the large oak trees along our property line, and believe it was well worth the money and effort for the neighborhood and the look of the property.”
The unifying aesthetic of Pearl Greenway is “urban modern,” Morgan says. “The team did a great job creating the logo, signage, brick and stucco colors, which resulted in the overall smart, sophisticated, and simple feel of the property.”