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Austin-based OHT Partners LLC is beginning construction this month on apartments just a few minutes north of The Domain, adding even more density to an area that saw explosive housing growth over the past decade.

OHT Partners, previously Oden Hughes, is the builder and developer for the project. The community, Lenox Grand, will have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments as well as eight townhomes, plus two pools, a dog park and a pickleball court, among other amenities. Developers expect the community to open early next year. It’s not far from a recently opened apartment complex built by the same deveopers.

The 315-unit multifamily community will span 16.4 acres off MoPac Expressway near Grand Boulevard. It is a roughly five-minute drive north of The Domain, an area that added more new housing than any other part of the Austin metro between 2010 and 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Davies Collaborative is the architect and Blu Fish Collaborative is the landscape architect. Pape-Dawson Engineers is the civil engineer and CPH Structural Engineering will handle the structural engineering. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing will be handled by MEP Delta Design.

Ben Browder, vice president of development for OHT Partners, said the firm purchased the land in August, and even in the short time since, the area’s job market has grown substantially, citing Amazon’s recent lease in The Domain and growth at Tech Ridge.

“Jobs are a huge element of [the location’s value], as well as how great the retail has gotten up there,” Browder said. “The amenities that are offered in The Domain, specifically. With Austin growing at an extremely fast rate, I think people are just gravitating toward that huge entertainment and employment hub.”

According to Browder, monthly rents are expected to be in the $1,400 to $2,600 range, depending on floor plans. All of the units will be market rate.

The apartments will be class A, suited to the higher-paying tech jobs in the vicinity. Browder added the rates will be lower than some rental options in the heart of The Domain, providing a more affordable option for people who still want to be close to the action.

In the Austin area, the median apartment rent was $1,560 in December, according to ApartmentData.com — up 25% from a year prior, an abnormally high jump.

The north side of the metro is home to other major tech employers, including Apple, Vrbo and Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook.

The area surrounding the new apartments has seen a fair share of change in recent years, although the pace of redevelopment seems likely to increase even more in coming years. There is a mix of single-family neighborhoods, apartment complexes, office buildings and industrial parks.

To the south, the North Burnet/Gateway district is part of what many consider Austin’s “second downtown,” along with the adjacent Domain. This reputation has been strengthened by huge projects like Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium, around which multiple large commercial and multifamily developments are planned. In December, Brandywine Realty Trust unveiled additional details about its plans for Uptown ATX, which could eventually encompass 7 million square feet of office, residential, retail and hospitality spaces across Burnet Road from The Domain.

OHT Partners has developed multifamily communities in all of Texas’ four major metros, including in the Austin area communities such as The Clark, Lenox 7th and Lenox Ridge. In 2019, it ranked as the second-busiest multifamily developer in the Austin area, according to Austin Business Journal research.


Publication: Austin Business Journal

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