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Barvin, a Houston-based owner and apartment operator known for buying and improving existing properties, started construction on its first ground-up development with a project next to the Texas Medical Center.

The company, which has a portfolio of more than 4,000 units located primarily in Houston, broke ground on a five-story complex at the northwest corner of Knight Road and El Paseo Street in late September, the company announced. The project, located south of Old Spanish Trail near NRG Park, will bring 281 units to the market in early 2022.

GFF is the architect for the project and Oden Hughes is the general contractor.

Barvin aims to meet demand from employees and students in the Texas Medical Center, which is expanding with the upcoming TMC3 collaborative research campus that will span 1.5 million square feet. Texas A&M is also expanding its campus in the Medical Center, which employs more than 106,000 people.

The complex is going up across the street from student housing for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

“We wanted to create a cohesive and unified project that both capitalized on the demand for high-quality apartments and improved the offerings of the Medical Center campus,” Barvin President and CEO Eric Barvin said in an announcement. “Our investment in this area is indicative of our confidence in its growth. We believe our development is poised to fill a gap in the current apartment supply.”

The development joins the more than 60 apartment projects, totaling nearly 17,000 units, under development across the Houston area, according to ApartmentData.com, a multifamily research company.

In the last year, 82 communities totaling 23,000 units have opened, according to ApartmentData. In the Medical Center area, Wood Partners recently opened Alta Med Main, a four-story complex with 338 units on Main Street near NRG Park.

Rents across the Houston market were down 0.8 percent year-over-year in September, according to ApartmentData.

Amenities at the new Knight Road apartments will include a pool-side cabana with outdoor kitchen and lounge area, a courtyard with a fire pit and biergarten, a reflection area with hammocks, a dog park with a dog washing station, bike maintenance and storage and a fitness studio with a separate yoga room.

A business center with multiple private conference rooms, lounge areas and coffee bar will offer a place for residents to work. All of the amenity areas will have WiFi. The garage will have charging stations for electric vehicles.

“GFF and our consultant team are very excited to be partnered with Barvin in designing this development,” said Evan Beattie, GFF’s chairman and CEO. “Our collective vision is to deliver a warm, yet modern building that leverages the accessibility of the Medical Center and has a focus on wellness, walkability, and quality, enriching the lives of its residents.”

Founded in 2009 by Eric Barvin, Barvin owns 11 apartment communities in Houston, San Antonio and Atlanta.

Publication: Houston Chronicle

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