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Camden Planning a Pair of High-Rise Towers in Downtown Houston

Rendering of one of the downtown Houston apartment towers planned by Camden Property Trust.

Rendering of one of the downtown Houston apartment towers planned by Camden Property Trust.

HOUSTON – Camden Property Trust, a Houston-based REIT led by Ric Campo, is planning two high-rise residential towers in downtown Houston.

The apartment towers will be built near the Toyota Center on two blocks bounded by Austin, La Branch, Pease and Bell.

Camden is planning to construct a pair of 20-story buildings, each containing 550 units. The first building is projected to break ground early next year, with completion set in early 2017. The next building would be started when the first tower is leasing up.

The two rental buildings will be backed with the city’s highly popular Downtown Living Initiative, which provides $15,000 per unit tax rebate for residential projects in the Central Business District.

Campo, who co-founded Camden in 1982, has been mentioned informally as a possible mayoral candidate to replace Mayor Annise Parker, although he has not announced a campaign or indicated any strong political aspirations.

He told me earlier this year that the mayoral office may not be a good match for his leadership style. But his resume is lengthy and Campo has a phenomenal track record of getting things done.

Campo was the effective pitchman before the NFL Super Bowl Selection Committee as Houston beat out other cities vying for the 2017 game.  One of Campo’s key selling points: Houston’s diversity and tolerance.

As volunteer chairman of the Houston First Corp., a quasi-governmental agency, he led the drive to develop the 1,000-room Marriott Marquis convention hotel, which is under construction in downtown. Houston First is also expanding the George R. Brown Convention Center and developing a boutique hotel and an office building next to the convention center, among other new civic projects underway in downtown.

Ric Campo, Camden CEO and Houston civic leader.

Ric Campo, Camden CEO and Houston civic leader.

And he is chairman of Central Houston Inc., the business organization that promotes downtown growth. In addition, he’s on the board of several national real estate organizations, including ULI, NAREIT and the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Camden, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is doing well also. The company is one of the biggest apartment companies in America with 171 multifamily properties containing a total 60,314 units.

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