Aging apartments earmarked for demolition are creating an upscale multifamily land rush in urban Houston. Typical investors interested in Class B and C apartment projects found themselves bidding against major developers offering to pay much more than the target price. Last month, Trammell Crow Residential purchased the 1960′s-constructed Westheimer Square Apartments, and will replace the 110-unit complex with a 244-unit luxury apartment building. The 2.7-acre site at 2001 Westheimer will fall to the wrecking ball in November. Construction will begin in first quarter 2007 on the Alexan Westheimer Square, which will have four floors of apartments on top of two floors of parking garage. The apartments will average 935 square feet and rent for an average of $1.70 per square foot when they are completed in summer 2008. Trammell Crow Residential also is expanding the upscale Alexan brand with the Alexan Kirby, a project about a mile away from Westheimer Square, near Richmond and Kirby. The old Sleepy Hollow apartments are being demolished at the site. Construction will begin in September and 230 units will be ready by December 2007. Commerce Equities is another player in the apartment redevelopment game. The firm’s 242-unit Bayou on the Bend on Memorial is opening soon. The company also is preparing to replace the Wilshire Village apartments at West Alabama and Dunlavy. The complex dating back to World War II will give way to a midrise apartment building. Apartment broker Jim Hurd of Houston Income Properties Inc. says redevelopment of older apartment complexes is also taking place in the Galleria, Clear Lake and along Interstate 10 west of downtown. But the inner-loop activity tops the list. Land in the best areas inside the Loop is selling for $60 to $85 per square foot.
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