Revitalizing a Class B Property

Westmount aims to "breathe new life into an aging property."

Houston—Westmount Realty Capital LLC has acquired the Braesridge Apartments in southwest Houston for an unspecified price. The company is planning to rebrand the garden-style apartment property, which is at 11100 Braesridge Dr., as Westmount at Braesridge

The three-story Class B asset dates from 1982 and consists of 542 units on about 16.7 acres. The apartments are a mix of one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 550 square feet to 1,300 square feet, with elevators to all third-floor units.

Common amenities including a clubhouse, assigned covered parking, a courtyard area with two gazebos, and dining hall with full kitchen and 15 sets of tables. The property also includes two swimming pools, a business center and limited-access gates.

Westmount plans a variety of improvements to the property. The company asserts that by completing an interior rehab that includes such features as new cabinet boxes, countertops, lighting, faux wood floors, two-tone paint and new fixtures, Class B owners are able to breathe new life into aging properties and push rents into a niche between older Class B properties and those recently completed or under construction.

“Residents have become much more educated consumers over the past several years, placing an increasing emphasis on amenities,” Paul N. Panza, managing director, Westmount Realty Capital, told MHN. “Whether it’s converting a tired pool into a resort-style retreat or adding high ROI amenities like a dog park, soccer field, playground or putting green, by further enhancing a properties current offerings, owners can continue closing the rent gap between B+ and A properties.”

Even so, older properties can still compete on price. “There’s a rather large gap—over $1 per square foot in some markets—between the rent per square foot of a brand new Class A apartment and mid-90s early 2000s vintage product,” Panza said. “That factors out to more than $800 a month in living expense on an average size apartment.”

Dallas-based Westmount is a long-time specialist in value-add and opportunistic investing in multifamily properties. Financing for the acquisition was arranged by the Dallas office of NorthMarq Capital.