Making the Most of an Acre in Uptown
Snapping up one of the last Uptown land parcels available, StreetLights Residential started construction last month on its new yet-to-be-named 212-unit high-rise just off McKinney Avenue at the Maple/Routh connection and Thomas Avenue in Uptown. SLR CEO Doug Chesnut tells us every inch of the small—but expensive—piece of land was used in the project (they win the clean plate award), making master planning a key ingredient in the project’s success. Getting entitlements proved a challenge, but the site in the middle of Uptown (walking distance from Klyde Warren Park, Whole Foods, and most office projects) was a major score, he says. SLR is developing the project and SLR Uptown Construction is serving as the GC. The project is expected to deliver its first units in late 2015.
With 1.5M SF of office construction in Uptown, the demand for multifamily housing there is bigger than ever, he says. Before, Uptown residents were doing a reverse commute, but astute companies studying what employees want are realizing that people want to live in these urban cores and are returning. As office projects develop, so will more apartments, restaurants, and entertainment, he says. Because Uptown is out of land, Doug thinks this urban demand will continue to push to the east and the west as it rings around the CBD (and the rosie).
SLR is also developing The Taylor (pictured), a 17-story luxury apartment tower with 308 units at 3100 Carlisle St in Uptown. Beyond the demand for Uptown living, Doug says the demographics support the developments. There are four billion people in the US turning 22 each year for the next seven to 10 years. Multifamily is already above historical occupancy norms, so even if just 40% of that population rents, that’s 1.6 million people looking for a place to live. With a household of two, you’re looking at a need for 700k to 800k units a year. When he’s not calculating demographic stats, Doug can be found hanging out with his wife of 32 years. The duo try to escape to their country home when they can, but they’re busy right now with wedding plans for their daughter (one of their three children), who is getting married this fall.