HOUSTON — (Realty News Report) – Camden Property Trust has not started construction on any of its proposed new projects in 2020 and it will move cautiously as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, the Houston-based multifamily REIT said.
On the drawing boards, Camden has two proposed projects in Houston – the 271-unit Camden Downtown II high-rise and the 300-unit Camden Highland Village II. In addition, it has proposed projects in the pipeline in Atlanta, Charlotte, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
“The company has not started construction on any new development communities in 2020, and it will evaluate future starts on an individual basis, based on evolving economic and market conditions,” Camden said in a news release.
Camden, which owns 26 apartment communities in Houston with 9,300 units, is currently constructing a 271-unit, $132 million high-rise in downtown Houston. It is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2020.
Camden also said April rent collections are down an estimated 6 percent. About 2 percent of typical rent revenue for April has been deferred for future payment as tenants struggle with the financial impact of the pandemic.
Camden recently established a $5 million resident relief fund, providing as much as $2,000 for tenants under financial duress. The $5 million in aid was depleted in 16 minutes, indicating the need among tenants in Camden’s 56,000 units. Late fees have been waived.
Camden employees continue to be paid. Camden said some employees “are incurring additional expenses, such as childcare, and other members of their households may be facing income losses as a result of COVID-19. In response, Camden made available up to $1 million to help employees dealing with financial difficulties. Camden executives are donating up to $250,000, with the remaining $750,000 coming from the Company.
“The additional funds will help Camden team members meet today’s unprecedented challenges,” said Keith Oden, Camden’s Executive Vice Chairman. “We are proud Camden’s financial strength allows us to take care of our families.”
Camden, a publicly traded firm with 56,000 units, said it is withdrawing its guidance outlook for its future performance because of uncertainty regarding the pandemic. A number of other REITs and other companies have withdrawn guidance because the future is uncertain.
“Despite the current challenging circumstances, Camden continues its mission of providing a great place to live for our residents and a great place to work for our team members,” said Ric Campo, Camden’s Chairman and CEO. “Camden entered this time of uncertainty with an experienced management team, a sound business plan, and a strong balance sheet with solid credit metrics.”