HOUSTON – Two new high-rise apartment towers are planned near a high-profile intersection in the Uptown area, just north of the Galleria in Houston.
Ground zero: the intersection of Post Oak Boulevard and San Felipe.
Dinerstein Cos. has tied up the northwest corner of San Felipe and Post Oak. Nothing has been announced officially, but Dinerstein’s concept is a 30-story mixed-use project with two levels of retail.
Dinerstein paid dearly for the tract, which is less than two acres. Word on the street is the price was $305 per square foot or more than $20 million, just for the land.
A few hundred feet away, Hanover Co., in conjunction with USAA, has tied up a site for another rental tower. The tract is adjacent to the 355-unit Hanover Post Oak high-rise residential tower that opened a year ago.
The oft-repeated wisdom of 2015 has been that Houston multifamily is nearly overbuilt, particularly for upper-end projects (such as Uptown high-rises) that demand significant rents.
But Dinerstein and Hanover aren’t a bunch of California doctors who know nothing about real estate and know even less about Houston.
Dinerstein – led by Jack Dinerstein; and Hanover – led by Murry Bowden – have developed thousands of units in Houston over the years. Dinerstein and Bowden are old pros in Houston’s multifamily business and they don’t make many $50 million mistakes.
My guess is Dinerstein and Hanover are planning ahead for the a future play, the way grandmaster Bobby Fischer played chess, looking forward a couple of dozen moves. There’s going to be too many multifamily starts next year – 2016 apartment construction will appear to be insane.
But construction will come to a near-halt in 2017, giving the apartment market time to digest the excess. So by the time Dinerstein and Hanover/USAA complete these projects, perhaps in 2018 or 2019, they could be hitting the market at the just right time.