By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
USAA Real Estate Co. and Gables Residential have formed a joint venture to develop multifamily properties at urban infill sites, and to buy an interest in some of Gables Residential’s apartment properties. According to the partners, the total development and acquisitions will amount to over $400 million in multifamily assets.
Development for the JV is now under way on the Gables Fairmount, which will comprise 333 multifamily apartment units in Dallas; Gables Bering, consisting of 306 multifamily apartment units and 11,200 square feet of retail in Houston; and Gables Upper Rock, which will feature 281 apartment units in Rockville, Md. Gables Residential will provide development, construction and property management services to the venture.
On the whole, the JV is another indication that multifamily development is making a comeback, with REITs and other deep-pocket investors, such as USAA, jumping back into the game in the company of experienced multifamily specialists, such as Gables Residential. According to the National Association of Home Builders, multifamily housing starts will be 133,000 units this year, which is almost 50 percent more than during 2010.
USAA Real Estate Co., a subsidiary of the financial services giant, currently has about $6 billion in assets under management, with real estate assets consisting of multifamily, office, industrial, retail and hotel properties. It also has investments in real estate operating companies with annual volume transactions exceeding $3 billion.
Gables Residential owns, develops and manages multifamily properties and mixed-use developments in a number of (mostly warm-climate) markets, including Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, southern Florida, southern California and metro Washington, D.C., many of which are among the most promising markets for multifamily development going forward.