Texas’ newest multifamily developments are bringing unique living options to the state’s high-growth areas.
Stephen O’Kane

Throughout Texas, 2007 promises to be another productive year for the multifamily market. From Houston north to Dallas, new and unique projects are being developed and planned. Some of the area’s most prominent developers and architects are recognizing the importance for growth in these markets and are filling the need with quality multifamily developments.

Colonial Village at Cityway

In the South Central submarket of Austin, Texas, Colonial Properties Trust is developing Colonial Village at Cityway. The project, valued at approximately $24.82 million, is currently in the design and planning stages and is scheduled to break ground this August, with the first units available next May.

Located near the Onion Creek subdivision and adjacent to Cityway, a 322-acre mixed-use development featuring 450,000 square feet of retail and 175 single-family homes, Colonial Village at Cityway will be developed as a Class A property comprising 376 multifamily units. Approximately 160 units will feature one bedroom and will span 742 square feet. Plans also include 184 two-bedroom units spanning 1,001 square feet and 32 three-bedroom units spanning 1,160 square feet. These apartments will be housed in three-story buildings, which offer exterior finishes made of stone and stucco.

The amenity package at Colonial Village at Cityway represents the current trend of strong extras in the multifamily market. In addition to community amenities such as a clubhouse, a fitness center and a cyber café, each of the units will feature wood cabinets, washers and dryers, and ceramic tile in the kitchen and entryways. Also planned for the property is a resort-style pool and a car care center.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, Austin recorded a 3.3 percent growth rate over the past year. With Austin also reaching the 700,000-job mark for the first time, the growth is expected to continue. Companies are recognizing the opportunities becoming more and more present in the city of Austin. “The Austin market continues to undergo positive long-term growth,” says Jim Von Dyke, vice president of construction for Colonial Properties Trust. “The addition of our Class A apartment community will provide housing in a market that has, over the long-term, been balanced regarding supply and demand. Additionally, it will give Colonial the opportunity to continue to establish itself in this target market.”

Colonial Village at Cityway is a collaboration of several companies. In addition to Colonial Properties Trust, Forum Architecture & Interior Design is serving as the project arhictect and Colonial Construction Services is the general contractor. McLaren Engineering Group is serving as structural engineers, Kimley Horn is the civil engineer and Land Design Partners is the landscape designer. The project is scheduled for completion in April 2009.

The VanZandt Hotel & Residences

Located near Red River and Davis streets in downtown Austin, The VanZandt Hotel & Residences is expected to break ground in the second quarter of this year.

While traditional multifamily developments are continuing to pop up throughout the city, Austin is seeing a rise in new and unique developments as well. Taking root in downtown Austin is The VanZandt Hotel & Residences. Combining multifamily units with luxury hotel rooms, the development hopes to attract visitors and residents with a convenient location and strong amenities.

Located near Red River and Davis streets in downtown Austin, The VanZandt Hotel & Residences is expected to break ground in the second quarter of this year. The mixed-use high-rise will feature 55 residential condominium units along with 308 hotel rooms. Featured on the property will be a bar and a spa as well as a 100-seat restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Residents of the condominiums will have access to all of the hotel amenities, which include room service, house accounts, a maid service, valet, 12,000 square feet of meeting space and a 5,000-square-foot outdoor event deck. The units will range in size from 1,450 square feet to more than 5,000 square feet. Residents also will have their own amenities including private entrance, elevators and a parking garage as well as a separate private deck and pool located on top of the building’s 17th floor. 

San Diego, California-based JMI Realty is the owner and the developer of The VanZandt Hotel & Residences. Walton South is serving as the general contractor, while Hornberger + Worstell is design architect and WDG is the executive architect. The $125 million project is scheduled to open in May 2009.

Kensington Park

The trend for new and interesting residential concepts continues east of Austin into the greater Houston area. Houston-based Hahnfeld Witmer Davis (HWD) is building a new residential component for Lake Pointe Town Center, a 190-acre mixed-use development positioned near the master-planned First Colony community in Sugar Land, Texas.

Upon completion, Lake Point Town Center, which is a development of Planned Community Developers (PCD), will house approximately 1 million square feet of office space and 200,000 square feet of retail. The residential component, Kensington Park, will be a brownstone community modeled after the award-winning Remington Brownstones in The Woodlands, Texas.

“Lake Pointe Town Center is a downtown neighborhood located in the heart of Sugar Land,” says Katherine Orellana, public relations manager for Marion Marketing, the company handling public relations for the development. “Lake Pointe features all the conveniences of an urban village within walking distance of nearby stores and restaurants. The community is centrally located, yet secluded on a 190-acre, mixed-use development and features significant water frontage, including 1.5 miles of frontage on Oyster Creek and over a mile of frontage on Brooks Lake.”

The convenient location offers residents access to a trail used for running and recreation, as well as a boardwalk and pedestrian bridge providing access to retail shops and restaurants.

Kensington Park will house 27 residences and four models ranging from 2,400 square feet and 3,300 square feet. Construction of the project began last year and the first brownstone model house, which is located at 1308 Lake Pointe Parkway, was unveiled in April. Prices range from the high $430,000s to the $560,000s.

“This is a unique challenge, but a great opportunity to create a complete dense neighborhood scheme, in a community that had not had this program before,” says Orellana. “Kensington Park has initiated the progress for other developments by HWD on adjacent sites, which has allowed Lake Pointe to become a truly diverse mix of residential for-sale housing, while promoting a street presence essential for a successful pedestrian life.”

Palisade Palms

Also taking root in the Houston area is Palisade Palms, a new large-scale residential development located along Galveston’s East Beach, south and east of the central business district and the University of Texas Medical Branch. Houston-based Kirksey is the architect for Palisade Palms, which is the first waterfront project developed in Galveston’s East End in more than 20 years.

Palisade Palms, which is expected to be the city’s largest high-rise condominium project, will comprise two 27-story towers featuring 288 residential units.  The units will range from 1,000 to 3,000 square feet and the project will include 478,000 square feet of total sellable area. Amenities for Palisade Palms, which already has 90 percent of the units sold, include a 441-car parking garage, a game room, two spas, a fitness center, a coffee bar, private dining space and an outdoor pool and deck area.

Falcon Group is developing the project, which is being constructed in four phases. Phase I is scheduled for completion in spring 2008. Along with Kirksey, Toronto-based Kirkor Architects & Planners is providing architectural services, while Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor. 

The Venue

Moving north to greater Dallas, the trend for unique, quality multifamily developments continues. The Venue, a development of Foster City, California-based Legacy Partners, is an apartment community featuring a musical/theatrical theme. The development broke ground in January and is scheduled for an August 2008 completion.

Legacy Partners is developing the project with BlackRock. The project is located adjacent to the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Galatyn Park and will feature a 285 apartment units. The units, which will be housed in a four- and five-story building, will range from 634 square feet for a one-bedroom unit to 1,860 square feet for a two-bedroom unit. The average rent is valued at approximately $1,345 per unit. The project also will feature a parking garage as well as 6,000 square feet of retail space. The musical/theatrical theme of The Venue will be reflected in the landscape, hardscape and building exteriors.

The Venue is located at Gatalyn Park in the growing Telecom Corridor of Richardson, Texas. “This area of Richardson has seen little multifamily construction in recent years and there are only a handful of multifamily units under construction in the market area at this time,” says Spencer Stuart, senior vice president and partner of Legacy Partners. “Richardson was a bedroom community that saw significant growth in the mid 1980s and again in the mid 1990s. With the opening of the DART commuter rail station at Galatyn Park, we believed that there would be a strong demand for housing at this location.”

The general contractor for The Venue is Andres Construction Services LLC, the project was designed by Humphreys & Partners Architects, L.P. and will be leased and managed by Milestone Management L.P. Financing for construction of the project was provided by Guaranty Bank.

©2007 France Publications, Inc. Duplication or reproduction of this article not permitted without authorization from France Publications, Inc. For information on reprints of this article contact Barbara Sherer at (630) 554-6054.

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