Building an amazing community is one thing, leasing it out is another. In Texas, some of the country’s most innovative communities have been leasing fast and furiously.
Zonda calculated the top lease-ups for major markets in the state for 2023, using its own proprietary scoring system that looked at a handful of factors to determine effectiveness.
Some of the criteria included the size of project (bigger got more points), construction completion date (if they were achieving strong absorption while still under construction, they got a more favorable rating), absorption rate, rents (higher the better), concessions (lower the better), and online rating score (the happier the residents, the better).
Here are Texas’ top 10 lease-up projects.
Jefferson Vine (Developer: JPI; Manager: ZRS Management)
Developed by JPI, the community is in Grand Prairie, an up-and-coming suburban area in Dallas County. The community enjoys convenient access to Highway 161 and Interstate 20. The site is within proximity to major employers, such as Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Poly-America; diverse shopping options including Grand Prairie Premium Outlets; and entertainment venues like EpicCentral. The three-story, garden-style community offers most units in larger one-bedroom configurations (800 square feet average) as well as over 6% three-bedroom options (1,500 square feet average).
Modera Six Pines (Developer and Manager: Mill Creek Residential)
Next to The Woodlands Town Center, this eight-story community is in Shenandoah, a Houston suburb in fast-growing Montgomery County. Top employers close by include Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, Chevron Phillips, and Entergy. The building features three floors of garage parking with a pool and two yard-like programmed courtyards. Besides all the top amenity offerings, the community features “Peace of Mind Guarantees.”
Prose Cypress Creek (Developer: Alliance Residential; Manager: Greystar)
The three-story, garden-style development is located in Cypress, a town in the Houston metro renowned for the top Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District and successful master-planned communities Bridgeland and Towne Lake. The community offers one- and two-bedrooms, an on-site playground, a co-working space, and covered parking.
The Luxe of McKinney (Developer and Manager: W3 Luxury Living)
The single-family home community in McKinney in the Dallas metro features Energy Star-certified floor plans in one-, two-, three-, and four-bedrooms with covered patios and private fenced-in yards as well as weekly lawn care. Homes feature dog doors and two-car direct access garages. The low-density site allows for a 10-acre private park. This community has been the recipient of an EPA Market Leader Award. McKinney is consistently featured in national rankings of the best places to live in the United States.
Lenox Lake Highlands (Developer: OHT Partners; Manager: Kairoi Residential)
Located in a popular urban neighborhood in the Dallas metro, the four-story Lenox Lake Highlands features interior corridors and surface parking with some covered spaces. As with many urban developments, the community features over 70% studio and one-bedroom apartments. The site is adjacent to White Rock Lake Trail, a popular running and biking amenity and has a food truck zone. Due to the project’s size, community offerings are plentiful, including three swimming pools.
Watterscape Urban Residential (Developer: Dalcor; Manager: First Service Residential)
The community is convenient to the Sam Rayburn Tollway in Allen and is within a mixed-use development that is walkable to restaurants, a neighborhood trailhead, and a movie theater. Allen Premium Outlets are less than 10 minutes by car. Designed with a five-story parking garage, the three-building community features studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments in a four-story design. Units feature smart-home technology with keyless entry.
Bridge at Paloma (Developer and Manager: JCI Residential)
The mixed-income community is located east of Interstate 35 in Austin. East Austin is a diverse and vibrant area and is known as a burgeoning hub for tech startups, creative businesses, and small enterprises. The community is garden-style within an urban setting. Community amenities include a sports simulator, electric-vehicle charging stations, and a 24-hour collaborative workspace. Most of the floor plan offerings are studio and one-bedroom, consistent with urban development.
Ascend at 1604 (Developer: DHI Residential; Manager: Greystar)
This community, located in Northeast San Antonio, features high-density garden apartments and single-family casitas. The site is minutes from big-box retail, such as IKEA and Costco; Shops at the Forum; and Live Oak Retail Center. The site features a large swimming pool with a fitness and yoga room and a children's play zone with a playground and a tot lot. Unlike other top leasers, this community features a majority of two-bedroom offerings.
Highpark (Developer: Venterra Realty; Manager: Venterra Living)
The second community on the list that is in Cypress, this garden-style community is near Bridgeland, a popular master-planned community. Some of the floor plans offer home offices catering to work-from-home professionals. The community offers smart-home technology and smart package lockers as well as fiber-powered internet with speeds up to 500 mbps in the apartments. The community was built with noise-reducing, energy-efficient insulation.
Broadstone North Ridge (Developer: Alliance Residential; Manager: Greystar)
The three-story, garden-style community is in the popular north Austin suburb of Round Rock along state Highway 45 and just west of Interstate 35. The site is within minutes of blue-chip employers such as Dell Technologies, St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, and Emerson. Offering a strong majority of one-bedroom units, some feature garage and private yards.