Behringer Harvard, Brookfield, Fairfield Team Up on Maryland High-Rise

Construction on Cameron House, a 15-story, 325-unit, luxury apartment building in Silver Spring, Md., is expected to begin within a month and take nearly two years to complete, a Behringer Harvard executive told CPN. Behringer Harvard, a Dallas-based real estate company, is investing in its third luxury apartment community in the suburban Washington, D.C., market and it’s first in Maryland. All three projects are being developed by Fairfield Residential, based in Grand Prairie, Texas, and San Diego. Two of the three, including Cameron House, are also being funded through a joint venture with the Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund. “We think the timing is right for delivering new units two to three years from now,” said Mark Alfieri, senior vice president-real estate for Behringer Harvard. The second largest city in Maryland, Silver Spring is a short Metro train ride to downtown Washington, D.C. Alfieri said Cameron House will be within walking distance to a Metro stop. The building, which will have 302,469 total square feet, will consist of 53 percent one-bedroom apartments and 47 percent two-bedrooms with an average square footage of about 930 square feet, Alfieri said. Amenities will include a rooftop swimming pool, fitness and business centers and a club room. He described the interior construction as “condo-quality” noting the apartments will have marble baths, granite countertops and 9 foot ceilings. There will be 434 underground parking spaces. Alfieri declined to release rent ranges but noted that rents average $250 per square foot for high-end apartments in that location. The project will also include about 7,500 square feet of retail, which could be rented to a coffee shop or local business, he noted. Alfieri said downtown Silver Spring has gone through resurgence with a large central business district that has attracted numerous employers such as Discovery Channel, American Film Institute, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. United Therapeutics Corp. has its headquarters adjacent to the Cameron House site and is planning an expansion, he said. Alfieri said Behringer Harvard had invested 66 percent of the equity capital with the other third coming from Toronto-based Brookfield and Fairfield. He did not release the total amount of the project but said the capital invested among the partners is about $32.5 million. Alfieri said Fairfield was able to get a construction loan from an unidentified lender to fund the entire project. “We are very pleased with the delivery of the construction loan in this environment,” he said. “It made us very comfortable with the investment. We feel good about moving forward with it.”The other suburban Washington, D.C., apartment projects that Behringer Harvard is involved with are both in Virginia. On Oct. 18, CPN reported that Behringer Harvard had provided equity investment and financing for Fairfield at Columbia Village, a 234-unit luxury high-rise multifamily community in Arlington, Va. Located on Columbia Pike about four miles west of the Pentagon, the 10-story building will have underground parking, a luxury clubhouse and more than 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Fairfield at Bailey’s Crossroads in the town of Bailey’s Crossroads, Va., will feature 414 luxury units in four buildings located about 15 miles from Washington, D.C. CPN reported July 25 that Behringer Harvard had provided a mezzanine loan for project expected to cost at least $150 million and would be the majority owner in the joint venture with the Brookfield Real Estate Opportunity Fund and Fairfield Residential.