Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apartment Boom

In the commercial real estate world, the easiest development to finance these days is an apartment project. Right now lenders are almost falling over each other to fund multi family housing projects in good locations.

Columbia is considered a good location. It comes as no surprise then, that one of the  first projects of Columbia Town Centers redevelopment will be an apartment project. Though it was widely anticipated that an announcement would be made in August, it will now likely be sometime before the end of the year. The new development will consist of approximately 500 residential units with street level retail. I suspect that street will be the The Mall ring road, probably in the area that once served as holiday overflow parking near the Cheesecake Factory.

Another apartment project is expected to be announced soon for the redeveloped Wilde Lake Village Center. According to the Howard/Arundel newsletter, Kimco has entered into a contract with a yet undisclosed multi family developer for 225 units with a construction start as early as 2012.

Together with the recent announcement by Chesapeake Realty Partners of plans to develop 320 units in the Gateway Crossing shopping center, Columbia could soon have over a thousand new apartments.

If, as they say, the past is prologue, by the time these three apartment projects come online, financing for multi family housing will have retreated back to normal levels. 
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