August 10, 2012
Architect, Attorney Think East (Austin)
AUSTIN (Austin American-Statesman) – An East Austin tract could soon become home to a community of creative types.
Local developer and architect Richard deVarga and attorney Robert Summers are planning a $35 million mixed-use project called thinkEAST, geared toward those in the technology, music, film, gaming and other creative industries.
Located on almost 25 acres by Govalle Park, the 300,000-sf, 28-building complex would have up to 150 units of for-sale and rental housing, most of it affordable to households earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area’s median family income.
The planned development is also expected to include a community center, gardens and trails connecting to the adjacent park and East Boggy Creek greenbelt.
Pending zoning approval, construction on the first of five phases is expected to begin in mid-2013.
REIT Gets Half-Billion Dollar Push
RICHMOND, Va. (Commercial Property Executive) – Virginia-based Apartment Trust of America Inc. has undergone a major recapitalization. And a name change.
Elco Landmark Residential Holdings LLC and DeBartolo Development LLC are investors in a $536.5 million transaction with the now-renamed Landmark Apartment Trust of America.
The investors contributed a 21-property, 6,100-unit portfolio valued at about $485 million. In exchange, Landmark gave over $187 million in partnership interests.
According to Landmark Apartment Trust of America’s website their portfolio includes 24 Texas properties, including 14 in the Dallas area, six in Austin, two in San Antonio, and one each in Corpus Christi and Houston.
Dallas Tower Auctioned Off
DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – A downtown Dallas skyscraper has been sold at auction.
Atlanta-based Cousins Properties acquired the 33-story, 844,000-sf 2100 Ross tower for $59.7 million. Located at the corner of Ross Ave. and Pearl St., the 30-year-old tower has been on the foreclosure list for several months.
Formerly the San Jacinto Tower, the building was renamed in conjunction with a 2006 renovation.
Arizona Firm Takes Arboretum Apartments
AUSTIN (MC Companies) – An Arizona-based real estate firm has acquired an apartment complex in Austin’s Arboretum area.
MC Companies purchased the 170-unit Terracina garden-style apartment community on 7.35 acres at 8100 N. Mopac Expy. The 42-year-old property was 95 percent occupied at the time of purchase.
The company’s property management division, MC Residential Communities, will manage the complex.
Developers Spring Into Waco’s Rental Market
WACO (Waco Tribune-Herald) – Brazos River Ventures has two rental projects under construction here.
The Waco-based company is building Canyon Springs, an 80-unit gated multifamily complex at 2301 Woodgate Dr. The one-, two- and three-bedroom units will each have private garage access and rents starting just above $1,000 per month.
Meanwhile, at Steinbeck Bend and Rock Creek Roads, site work has begun on Mammoth Springs, a project that will include 43 single-family residences and 165 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The single-family homes will be available for sale or rent.
The first ten units at Canyon Springs will be available in November or December, while construction on Mammoth Springs’ first phase will begin within 30 days.
Houston West Data Center Expanding
HOUSTON (REBusinessOnline.com) – A Houston-based data colocation firm announced plans to add a third facility to its Houston West data center.
CyrusOne is developing a 120,000-sf data center on its existing property just off Beltway 8, bringing the square footage of its three-building property to about 300,000.
The 24-mW center is slated for completion in early 2013 and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
Abilene Welcomes Affordable Apartments
ABILENE (Abilene Reporter-News) – Federal tax credits have been awarded to a Miami developer to construct affordable apartments here.
Pinnacle Housing Group will build the 66-unit La Ventana Apartments with about $7.1 million from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. Units at the property at 2401 Union Lane will be priced for families earning less than 60 percent of the area’s median income.
The city is supporting the project with about $160,000 of in-kind commitments, including fee waivers.
Pinnacle is also constructing Tylor Grand, another affordable property in southwest Abilene to be completed later this year.
College Station HS Opens This Fall
COLLEGE STATION (The Eagle) – College Station’s newest high school will open to students Aug. 27.
The three-story, 450,000-sf College Station High School will open to ninth- and tenth-graders after more than two years of construction. Located on 65 acres at Victoria Ave. and Barron Rd., the campus reportedly cost $109 million to build — $2 million under budget.
The new building is expected to ease the overcrowding at nearby A&M Consolidated High School. It was 400 students above its 2,400-student capacity during the 2011-12 school year.
College Station High School is the school district’s first LEED-certified campus.
Irving Westgate Complex Sells
IRVING (Dallas Business Journal) – A healthy rental market here has triggered another property sale.
WG Apartments LLC acquired the 256-unit Westgate Apartments at 3829 William Dehaes Dr., north of SH 183. The two-story, garden-style complex was built in the early '80s.
Transwestern represented both the investor and the seller.
New Institute Addresses Coastal Concerns
COLLEGE STATION (TAMU Times) – The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has approved the creation of a new institute to assist coastal communities.
The Texas A&M Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities will conduct coastal research to better understand how to establish and design sustainable and resilient coastal communities and landscapes in Texas and around the world.
It will consolidate research activities of multiple centers in Texas A&M’s College of Architecture and the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at Texas A&M University at Galveston. In addition, other Texas A&M affiliates, such as the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the Texas Sea Grant program, will be involved with the ISCC.
The cornerstone of the ISCC will be the continued development of the Texas Coastal Communities Planning Atlas that deals with key coastal issues critical to Texas.
The institute will bring together faculty from multiple centers and departments on the two campuses, including the Departments of Landscape and Urban Planning, Construction Science, Architecture and Visualization. Involvement will also include the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, the Center for Housing and Urban Development, the Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M, and the Marine Sciences and Marine Biology departments at TAMUG.
University officials expect the ISCC can be created and operate with no additional institutional funds.
Sugar Land Going Center Stage
SUGAR LAND (City of Sugar Land) – Sugar Land could soon have its own concert and performing arts venue.
The Sugar Land Development Corporation and Sugar Land City Council signed a letter of intent with ACE Sugar Land LLC to move forward with the development of a 6,500-seat performing arts center. The facility is proposed to be constructed on 21 acres near US 59 and University Blvd., within a mixed-use development.
“Making Sugar Land a destination for culture and entertainment has been a long-held vision of our citizens,” said Mayor James Thompson. “We believe this will fill a much-needed gap in entertainment needs in this part of the greater Houston region.”
No timeline has been set for completion of the center.
Centurion Building on Santa Fe Trail
DALLAS (Dallas Morning News) – New homes will soon fill an infill site near White Rock Lake in Dallas.
Carrollton-based Centurion American Development Group acquired the nine-acre tract on East Grand Ave. and plans to construct 60 single-family homes on the site through its affiliate Megatel Homes.
The property fronts the Santa Fe Trail and sits about a mile southwest of White Rock Lake. It is across from the Tenison Park Golf Club.
Home prices are expected to start around $500,000.