240-unit apartment project breaks ground near Bee Cave

Nov 21, 2013
Austin American Statesman

Austin development firm Oden Hughes will add to Central Texas’ apartment boom with a 240-unit luxury apartment community in southwestern Travis County

Construction began last week on the project, which is being called Landmark Conservancy, at the southeast corner of Old Bee Cave Road and Texas 71, said Steve Oden, co-founder of Oden Hughes. Craig Hughes is Oden’s partner in the company

The 22-acre site is 3 miles southeast of Bee Cave, and about 9 miles southwest of downtown Austin

The apartment community is expected to open in early 2015, joining a surge of apartment development that’s being spurred by job and population growth, and a low supply inventory of both new and existing single-family homes

Mark Sprague, a longtime local real estate market analyst, said the area that includes Southwest Austin and Bee Cave has been undersupplied with apartments “for a number of years, so with quality product and management, a rental community should do well to this underserved area.”

In its recent third-quarter apartment market survey, Austin Investor Interests said units in the Southwest sector were 96.2 percent occupied compared to 95.8 percent for Central Texas as a whole. The report listed 11 complexes under construction with 544 units; another 321 units in the approved stage; 977 that have been submitted planning documents; and 924 units in the pre-development/proposed stage

Across the five-county Austin metro, 18,600 apartment units were under construction at the close of the third quarter, according to Austin Investor Interests. More than 10,660 expected to break ground during the next 12 months

Sprague said the estimated 170,000 rental units in the Austin area “sounds like a lot, until you realize we are close to 1.9 million population in the five-county area.”

The recession and the lack of lending, Sprague said, left the region’s without enough housing stock, both rental and for-sale, for the region’s new arrivals in the past few years

With the region adding apartments this year at a pace almost 80 percent ahead of the average annual rate from 2005 to 2012, some experts predict occupancy and rent growth will ease some next year as a tide of new units deliver

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