Land Purchase at Houston Mixed-Use Project Paves Way for 37-Story Apartment Tower

Plans for one of the residential centerpieces of BLVD Place, a 21-acre mixed-use project being developed by Wulfe & Co. in Houston’s Uptown area, move forward with the purchase of a nearly 1.5-acre parcel at the site by Hanover Co. and MetLife Inc. Hanover and MetLife plan to build an upscale, 236-unit apartment building (pictured) on the land just acquired from Wulfe. The architectural firm of Solomom Cordwell and Buenz designed what will be a 37-story tower that will also feature a screening room, library and fitness facility. The building will be surrounded by the mixed-use development’s vast offerings, which include a 500,000-square-foot retail segment anchored by an 80,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market. Additionally, a high-rise hotel topped by residential units will be erected at the site. The Houston multi-family market is hungry for more apartments, and luxury units in particular. “There’s a great deal of demand and the demand is growing in Uptown,” G. Craig LaFollette, executive vice president with real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s multi-housing group, told CPN today. “The vacancy rate is probably around 5 or 6 percent.” New projects are popping up; however, The BLVD Place apartment endeavor will be a bit of a novelty in Uptown, as the mixed-use development concept is just beginning to catch on in Houston–but it is catching on quickly. Trademark Property Co. recently brought Coventry Real Estate Advisors aboard its $105 million mixed-use project in the Galleria submarket that will feature 233 apartments upon its scheduled completion in fall 2009. And in the suburban Houston town of Missouri City, Red Group L.L.C., Leisure Care and Opus West Corp. recently broke ground on Colonial Lakes Village, a project centered on a 222-unit independent senior living complex, with office condo space and retail space. Headquartered in Houston, Hanover specializes in the development of premier multi-family properties across the country. The company’s portfolio involves over 38,000 residential units and over $7.5 billion in project costs. Morristown, N.J.-based MetLife Real Estate, a division of insurance and financial services provider MetLife Inc., is one of the largest real estate investment managers in the United States, with an investment portfolio carrying a market value of about $35 billion.