Apartment options increasing

A real estate advisory firm is forecasting a record increase in the number of new apartment leases in Cedar Park and Leander in 2015, especially along the US 183 corridor.

Berkadia Real Estate Advisors, a division of multifamily investment company Berkadia, released the prediction in a 2014 year-end report.

The report outlined that multifamily developers in 2015 are expected to add a total of 10,670 market-rate apartment units in the Austin metro area. David Delich, senior director of research at Berkadia, said the lower estimate does not include anticipated new units in Cedar Park and Leander.

In Cedar Park, three developers have nearly completed the permitting process to build 335 new units in the city, according to data provided by the city of Cedar Park Development Services Department. The new communities are planned near US 183/Bell Boulevard, adding to Cedar Park’s 19 existing apartment complexes and 4,637 individual rented units.

As Cedar Park approaches its buildout, city leaders have outlined careful reservation of remaining land in the city’s Future Land Use Plan. According to the Development Services Department, the city has zoned about 74 acres for future multifamily use—enough space to provide about 1,750 additional apartment units. Undeveloped potential multifamily sites include 23 acres on Anderson Mill Road and 17 acres on Bagdad Road.

In Leander two developers will complete permit applications in 2015 and will build 356 new apartment units, according to data provided by Leander city staffers.

Leander Senior Planner Robin Griffin said the city has 65 acres zoned for six multifamily complexes. Those include 872 units, including some that are age-restricted for senior citizens or subsidized for low-income families.

Leander City Manager Kent Cagle said city planners want to draw new multifamily developers to the city’s transit-oriented development, or TOD, district, with hopes they can attract young professionals to rent upscale apartments and commute to Austin.

“Our focus will remain on the TOD,” Cagle said.

Outside the TOD the city has 427 acres zoned for future multifamily use. Planners will consider more multifamily proposals outside the TOD on a case-by-case basis, he said.

Despite rising demand for apartments, the report also predicted rent increases. In 2014 average rent increased from about $965 per month to about $1,030 per month. In 2015 rent could increase again by about 10 percent to an average of $1,134 per month. According to the report, 2016 rents could jump even higher by about 4.5 percent to an average of $1,185 each month.
By Stephen Burnett
Stephen Burnett has been a community journalist since 2005. He joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in November 2013. For the cities of Cedar Park, Leander and northwest Austin, he covers city and county government, business, development, events, transportation, utilities and more.


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