At the past couple of industry conferences I’ve attended, something struck me—everyone talks about development (and fears it), but no one really knows how much development is actually occurring. Market and submarket knowledge are often replaced with a faith that equity and debt problems will rein in new construction. So far, so good, according to attendees and speakers at the MFE Leadership Summit in Vail, Colo., last week. Complaints about the difficulty of securing debt and equity (well, mainly equity) far outpaced fears of over-development. At least, this was the case in most markets not named Washington, D.C. But that can’t last forever.
In the era of Google Alerts, this uncertainty about what was happening in specific markets was surprising. With that in mind, I’d like to regularly update you about new developments I’m finding around the country through Google Alerts. They could be from press releases or articles from local newspapers. They could have just been approved by a local zoning department, just had a ground-breaking, or are just being rumored.
Here’s what has popped up since the weekend:
-Early this morning, Patch.com put up a post that Camden plans to demolish the “historic” Paces Apartments at 77 E. Andrews Road and build a new high-end apartment with retail. Phase I on construction will begin in late July and will include two different building. One will be more upscale than than the other, which could provide an interesting study in how to diversify a product mix in the same development. The current plan is for 376 units.
-Score another one for electric car charging advocates. The Daily Press in Newport News, Va., reports that the five-building, Radius Urban Apartments along Jefferson Avenue and Bland Boulevard will get five General Electric charging stations for electric cars. Each station will cost $10,000.
-There’s a lot of talk about apartment development in places like Washington D.C. and Seattle, but don’t forget about Colorado Springs. The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports that Dallas-based WillMax Capital Inc. plans a 288-unit complex southwest of Interstate 25 and Nevada Avenue. The company is one of a “flurry” of developers wanting to build in the Pikes Peak region.WillMax submitted plans for its project, to be called the Overlook at Pulpit Rock, to the Colorado Springs Land Use Review Division.
-Birmingham-based Capstone’s 359-unit apartment complex in Eugene, Ore. is drawing the scrutiny of local residents, according to the city’s Register-Guard newspaper. Some residents have questions about adding 1,2000 students to their community, but the paper indicates that the council is supportive.
-The jockeying for position in Seattle gets even more ferocious with news that construction will begin next month on a 24-story apartment tower on Second Avenue that had been on mothballs for six years, according to The Seattle Times. The project was originally a 175-unit tower from Seattle-based Intracorp, but that company lost the site to foreclosure. Now, Goodman Real Estate, which the paper says may be Seattle's most active apartment developer, and Harbor Urban, a merger between Seattle's Harbor Properties and the Seattle office of Los Angeles-based Urban Partners, will build the project. The paper said the project, about five blocks from a proposed Amazon.com office tower, could be the biggest in the city’s “overheated” apartment development market. The question is: When does Emerald City get too hot?
-There are already 11 apartment complexes near Phoenix’s Paradise Valley Mall. Suko LLC, a partnership between two dermatologists, would like to make it 12, according to The Arizona Republic. The LLC is owner of the half-empty Paradise Valley Medical Center. They’d like to build the Cactus 42 Apartments on that site and they’ve submitted their plans to Phoenix Planning and Development Department. While the paper comments that the Phoenix market is “improving” with vacancies less than 10 percent, you still have to wonder about dermatologists proposing apartments in a bubble market. Many industry veterans will tell you they knew Vegas hit the point of no return in the mid 2000’s when dentists started talking about developing condos.
-The multifamily development bus is coming to Hamburg, Ky., with news from The Lexington Herald-Leader that Watermark Residential of Indianapolis plans a two building project in the town, which is near Lexington.
-A NIMBY fight is brewing in Tulsa, Ok., as a proposed 354-unit apartment complex in Glenpool is drawing the ire of local residents, according to The Tulsa World.
-There have been a couple of attempts to build housing in McDowell County, NC, lately. Traci Dusenbury, developer and owner of Halcon Companies, which is working on other projects in the state, is taking the latest shot with an attempt to build the Grandview Ridge Apartments in Marion, NC. The television station reported that three previous attempts to bring housing to Western North Carolina had been thwarted by difficulty to get tax credits and a failed land sale. The stories just point out the difficulty of providing affordable housing, specifically in more rural markets.