Multi-family Apartments Remain Hot Commodity in LR Area, NWA

by George Waldon  on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 12:00 am  

Construction should start soon on boat slips for John Burkhalter’s marina-residential project in downtown Little Rock.  (Photo by Michael Pirnique)

In west Little Rock, The Ridge at Chenal Valley brought 312 units to the market, and half of the 260 units at Chenal Pointe at the Divide are open for leasing, with finishing work on the balance on track for completion by year's end.

Phase two of John Burkhalter's Fountaine Bleau Apartments added 144 units when it was completed late last year in North Little Rock. Framing work is in progress on phase three, which encompasses another 144 units and a second clubhouse.

The opening 120-unit phase of Burkhalter's Fountaine Bleau North at the northeast corner of Smokey Lane and 46th Street in North Little Rock should be completed by December. Plans call for a second phase with 96 units by late summer 2013.

"The lease rate is on a skyrocket path," Burkhalter said of the project. "No one has served the Class A market over there."

The North Little Rock businessman's grand marina-residential project in downtown Little Rock should start construction on 150 boat slips in the next few weeks.

Plans for The Residence at Harbortown call for construction to begin in the spring on 192 apartments, with one- and two-bedroom floor plans. This $35 million first-phase development should be completed in 2014.

"We have new construction, and it's spread throughout the county," Webster said. "The jury is still out on how many of them will hit their rent levels. I'm not talking about filling up their apartments. I'm talking about getting the rental rates they were expecting."

Northwest Arkansas

The apartment market in Benton and Washington counties has fared well in the post-bubble recovery, with occupancy rates ranging from 90.8 percent in Springdale to 97.1 percent in Rogers.

“I think rental rates are trending slightly upward,” said Brian Donahue, senior associate at the Tulsa office of the commercial real estate services giant CBRE Group Inc.

“Occupancies are holding pretty firm. The market has been fairly strong. Overall, it’s a positive outlook on where things are and where things are going.

“Transaction volume has been slower to date. But it wouldn’t surprise if a few deals closed before year-end.”



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