Behringer Harvard Invests in 220-Unit M-F Project in Austin

Acting through the Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, the real estate investment company is ponying up funds as a co-investor in the development of Seven RIO, a 220-unit luxury apartment community in downtown Austin.

Mark Alfieri, of Behringer Harvard

Behringer Harvard is keen on a bevy of cities these days and Austin, Texas is one of them. Acting through the Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I Inc., the real estate investment company is ponying up funds as a co-investor in the development of Seven RIO, a 220-unit luxury apartment community in downtown Austin. 

With CWS Capital Partners L.L.C. as the project developer, Behringer Harvard will help bring Seven RIO to life as an equity partner with a 90 percent stake in the asset, which will cost an estimate $60.7 million to complete, according to an SEC document. The project marks Behringer Harvard’s entrée into the City of Austin. 

The 24-story residential tower, which will provide all of the upscale amenities that today’s renters covet, will sit within close proximity of Austin’s bustling central business district. The partners predict that location will play a key role in Seven RIO’s success. 

“We expect Seven RIO to benefit from a strategic location in downtown Austin with convenient access to employers in the central business district as well as many shopping, dining and entertainment venues that contribute to Austin’s exciting nightlife,” Mark Alfieri, COO of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, said in a prepared statement. 

In general, Austin’s apartment market is seeing some of its best days. The vacancy rate in the city had dropped to just 3.9 percent by the close of 2012, which means it kicked off 2013 at its lowest level in more than 10 years, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. While development activity will surge this year, high demand–prompted by the city’s booming high-tech sector and growing health care industry–is expected to keep vacancy rates down to enviable lows.

Construction of Seven Rio is on track to commence this month.