Apartment developer sweet on Austin

Colonial Grand at Wells Branch — This North Austin apartment complex was the latest to be bought by Colonial Properties Trust. The company owns about 3,450 local units spread out over 10 complexes.

A Birmingham, Alabama based real estate investment trust has begun building a large, Class A apartment complex at 11001 S. First St. about a mile from I-35 near downtown Austin. The Colonial Grand at Double Creek — a $31.7 million, 18-building complex by Colonial Properties Trust Inc. — is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2012.

The Colonial Grand at Double Creek will be a 296-unit rental property designed by Plagemen Architecture of Burlington, N.C. The complex will be Colonial’s second National Association of Home Builders green-certified bronze project. The company confirmed all financing was set.

Construction comes at a time when most signs indicate Austin’s available multifamily housing is shrinking. New tenants could see rent increases of 4.2 percent this quarter as construction slows but the population continues to grow, according to a recent report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc.

Citywide, 1,000 new units are expected to come online in 2011 compared with 2,900 units last year, the report said.

Local experts said the new Colonial property is one of a few projects getting done that will deliver needed new product to the market this year or next.

Colonial’s activity in Austin — having also bought the 336-unit Colonial Grand at Wells Branch in North Austin in February — is indicative of this market’s appeal.

The Grand Colonial at Double Creek is being built along the largely undeveloped extension of South First Street, part of a strategy that Colonial said enables them to unlock the potential of its unused land.

Colonial Double Creek consists of two- and three-story, direct-entry apartments with private garages, Spahn said. The exterior is stone and masonry stucco. The interiors have ceramic tile floors, walk-in closets, garden tubs and patios.

What do you think? Would you be willing to move into a beautiful building in an underdeveloped area? Why or why not?

courtesy of Cody Lyon, ABJ Staff, Austin Business Journal

A Real Estate Blog by
A Real Estate Blog by CondoDomain