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From Connect Texas

The NRP Group and equity partner World Premier Investments began constructing a new Houston affordable housing multifamily development. The Exchange, a 300-unit multifamily apartment community on Houston’s near north side is situated in an Opportunity Zone. The 43-acre master-planned community is part of Hardy Yards and will feature a music center, public parks, retail and grocery stores and restaurants, in addition to residences. The Exchange is also The NRP Group’s first workforce housing development in Houston.

PGIM Real Estate Finance arranged a $48 million Freddie Mac unfunded forward commitment to provide permanent financing for the apartment project.

At least 50 percent of the units at 1250 Leona St. will be set aside for rent-and income-restricted families earning between 60 and 80 percent of the area median income (or as much as $42,750). The remainder of the units will be set at market-rate rents. The lower-income demographic often includes teachers, police officers, nurses and young professionals who earn too much money to qualify for low-income housing but can’t afford Houston’s new apartment complexes in the urban core, said Alastair Jenkin, vice president of development at the NRP Group. “They’re just not in a place in their career where they make $100,000.”

The Exchange will offer one, two and three-bedroom apartment homes, with amenities including a co-working style business center, fitness center, luxury pool bike storage, 24/7 package reception space and a dog park.

The Hardy Yards project, still in its infancy, is just north of the Central Business District near Metro’s Burnett Transit Center. Another mixed-income project has been built there, but eventually, the land is expected to be filled with shops, restaurants green space and additional housing.

The NRP Group apartments are being developed in a partnership with the Houston Housing Authority. The authority will own the land, which will be exempt from taxes as long as the complex meets specific criteria.

NRP has another project in the works with the authority in the East End, where it is planning a 400-unit complex for residents who earn 60 percent of the area median income, with some units set aside for those who earn 30 percent. That proposal, along with a second nearby, is the source of debate in the area, with some residents concerned that too much low-income housing is being built there. However, a recent presentation by Steve Spillett of Community Development Strategies  in Houston indicates Houston affordable housing problem’s will grow due to too much Class A luxury apartment housing being built that isn’t matching up with the type of jobs experiencing growth in the area.


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