Red hot multifamily is now burning up new markets like Fort Worth's Medical District where the first-ever ground-up apartment project has reached 84% occupancy and there's a waiting list for its one-bedroom projects. (Apparently, folks are settling for nothing less than Monica or Rachel from Friends for a roomie.)
Fort Worth developer Stephen Eisner (left, with Bank of Texas’ Rachel Dillard) built the Phoenix Fort Worth at 429 College Ave last fall because of the lack of existing projects and the fabulous employment base. It was the first new development in the submarket, which has 40,000 workers and is growing as the hospitals expand and additional service providers move in. (If you're gonna put your faith in someone, medical personnel should top that list.) Now, the area has developers looking for possible multifamily project sites to cash in.
From market surveys done by Fort Worth South, Stephen says a high percentage of the area’s employees indicated they would consider living nearby if they had the opportunity. It was an untested area, he says, and there aren’t many developers who like being a trailblazer (or a guinea pig). When the idea for a multifamily complex was presented to him, Stephen says he and his partners had no hesitation in jumping on the deal. It was all about meeting an unmet need in the region. Learn more about what's going on in multifamily at Bisnow’s fifth annual DFW Multifamily Summit on June 26, which will take a look at the next hot spots (like the Medical District) and what to expect on the investment horizon.
Tenants started slowly moving into the Phoenix in September with leasing starting in earnest in November. The urban wrap project (with 170 units) is 84% leased with a waiting list for the one-bedroom units. Stephen says the property is doing about four to five leases a week right now and will stabilize ahead of schedule. He’s seeing relocations from Downtown and the 7th Street areas (where residents say it is often noisy with lots of traffic congestion). Right now, Stephen has an LOI out for a multifamily project in Dallas and (along with his wife) is developing a boutique student housing project near the Baylor campus. His wife went to Baylor; he also has a daughter who graduated from BU in 2012, and a son who just finished his freshman year there. Sic ‘em, Bears!