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One of the last major multifamily-zoned tracts in Baytown up for sale

Residential development is booming in Baytown.

As oil refineries and petrochemical companies take advantage of low crude oil prices, demand for new homes and apartments is growing in the east Houston suburb.

“Baytown has become an active, growing and hot market,” said Tom Dosch, executive managing director of ARA Newmark Houston. “There’s so much activity on the downstream side, everyone wants to be there.”

ARA Newmark’s Houston office is now marketing one of Baytown’s last major tracts of land zoned for multifamily use, Dosch said. The 7.4- acre site is off Baytown Central Boulevard near Garth Road, just east of the Baytown Village and Willowcreek shopping centers. The property is less than a half mile from Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital and is within walking distance to a Target, Best Buy and Wal- Mart.

The Houston land brokerage first brought the property to market in 2015, Dosch said. Initially, the site was zoned commercial, but an out-of-town multifamily developer took the site under contract and received city approvals to rezone the property to multifamily. Ultimately, that undisclosed developer abandoned plans to acquire the tract when oil prices plunged, Dosch said.

“They got cold feet with the market,” Dosch said. “They were planning to come back into the market, but they decided they wanted to pull out of Houston.”

Still, there’s growing interest for new apartments in Baytown to serve petrochemical workers in plants along Galveston Bay. However, city officials have turned down some apartment proposals as several developers have flocked to the city in recent months, Dosch said.

There are a half-dozen multifamily developers and a senior housing developer that have expressed interest in site, Dosch said.

“We’re seeing pretty strong interest from apartment guys,” Dosch said. “We’ve seen rents go way up in the Baytown market.”

Apartment rents in Baytown jumped 4.7 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to Transwestern. For comparison: Overall rents in Houston increased just 1.3 percent during the same time frame.

Several developers are underway on new residential projects in Baytown.

Wells Holding is planning to develop 400 homes, 400 apartment units, office, retail, restaurants and perhaps an extended-stay hotel on 190 acres near Texas Highway 146 and the Grand Parkway in Baytown. Hunington Properties Inc. is planning to develop hundreds of single-family homes, 480 apartment units and several commercial buildings — midrise offices, an extended-stay hotel and retail shops — on nearly 200 acres on the northeast corner of Texas State Highway 146 and Kilgore Parkway in Baytown. CastleRock Communities is developing the second phase of Goose Creek Landing, a new single-family residential community on 106 acres in Baytown.

Paul Takahashi – Reporter
Houston Business Journal

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