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Nitya Capital and Tema Development have teamed up to develop a 32-story apartment tower just north of Hermann Park near two other Tema residential developments.

Two Hermann Place is planned to go up at 1661 Hermann Drive near Jackson Street on approximately one acre near the Texas Medical Center, Rice University and downtown. Haytham Haidar, Tema’s director of development, said the partners expect to break ground in the first quarter.

The building, which will have five levels of parking with apartments above, is designed to offer unobstructed views of Hermann Park and downtown. The project’s 295 units will have 10-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling window walls in the living areas and bedrooms. It will offer seven-foot-deep balconies.

“We want to build a project that becomes a landmark of Houston,” said Swapnil Agarwal, chief executive officer of Houston-based Nitya. “Even the first floor of apartments can have unbelievable views of the park.”

The development team worked with architecture firm Page on the design, which blends in with the stone in the nearby Museum District.

“During our design process we carefully researched every detail of this charming and historical area of Houston to build a residential space that effortlessly blends with the beautiful Hermann Park backdrop,” Nadim Zabaneh, vice president of Houston-based Tema Development said in an announcement. “It was important for us to maintain the character of the Hermann Place area to create an authentic park-like setting for our residents.”

The new tower will be part of a 6.8-acre master-planned site that includes Tema’s One Hermann Place, a seven-story apartment mid-rise completed in 2016, and The Parklane, a 35-story condominium building completed in 1983. The land has been owned by Tema since 1978.

The development cost was not disclosed and contractors have not yet been named.

The project will add to the 2,702 residential units under construction in the Montrose/Museum/Midtown/Central Houston submarket, according to ApartmentData.com. Rental rates in the submarket are up 4.7 percent since last December, while occupancy has dropped by 1.7 percentage points to 87.6 percent as new buildings have come online, mostly in Midtown.

Located across from the 445-acre Hermann Park, Two Hermann Place will be one of the tallest apartment towers in the Museum District/Medical Center area. Latitude Med Center, a 35-story, 372-unit apartment development of Greystar and Medistar Corp., opened at 1850 Old Main St. last year. Hanover Hermann Park, on Almeda near Texas 288, rises 29 stories.

Until recently, Nitya has focused on value-add multifamily properties, amassing a portfolio of 17,000 multifamily units across the U.S. The company also owns and manages office complexes, retail, single-family homes and townhome developments.

Agarwal said Nitya and Tema could team up next on the first phase of the redevelopment of Bayou Park Apartments, an older complex on 15 acres at Memorial Drive near Shepherd acquired by Nitya last year. The master plan for the property, which is still being developed, could include multifamily, a hotel, condo and retail.

Construction of the Two Hermann Place apartment building is projected to take about 24 months with completion planned in 2022. The tower will include 18,000 square feet of amenities, including an 11,000-square-foot amenity deck and a 2,100-square-foot sky lounge. Concierge, valet services, a ground level lounge and cafe, a pet salon, electric vehicle charging stations, fitness center and resort-style pool are planned.

Nearby, a parcel owned by a Florida real estate investment trust is up for sale. The 3.4-acre site of Cornerstone Specialty Hospitals at 2001 Hermann Drive is being marketed by JLL for mixed-use, condominiums, multi-family or office use.

“The Museum District is one of the hottest development areas for urban growth in the city,” said Chris Bergmann Jr., a vice president at JLL. “It is especially attractive to mixed-use developers based on the walkability to light rail, Hermann Park, the Med Center and museums.”

Publication: Houston Chronicle

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