Thursday, October 30, 2008

Houston developer plans high-rise condos in Preston Center

Randall Davis is looking for about 40 people who would like to live in a high-rise condominium.

That can be tough sell in today’s housing market, but the Houston developer has an edge.

His location in Preston Center near University Park seems to be a winner with potential buyers.

“Our phone has been ringing since we recently put a sign up,” said Mr. Davis, who’s teamed up with developer Hines to work on the Douglas Avenue project.

Allie Beth Allman & Associates is marketing the project.

The nine-story Terranova building would be the first residential high-rise built in Preston Center in more than a decade.

But first Mr. Davis has to round up prospective buyers.

“We’ve already taken five ($5,000) deposits,” he said. “I’m trying to get a sales center built and open before Valentine’s Day.

“I believe that most of our buyers will come from the Park Cities,” he said. “These people are looking to move out of their four- and five-bedroom house and down size.

To drive home that point, Terranova takes its Mediterranean design cues from Highland Park Village and other historic buildings in the area, Mr. Davis said.

Planned units range in size from 1,400 to about 4,400 and sell for more than $450 per square foot.

The developers hope to begin the project next summer, and it will take more than 18 months to complete.

While several center city Dallas condo projects have been cancelled or are have been slow to attract buyers, Mr. Davis said the lack of new condo projects in the area around Northwest Highway and the Dallas North Tollway is a plus.

“This is a terrific niche opportunity,” he said. “I wouldn’t’ venture into Uptown given the fact there is a lot of product there.”

Mr. Davis has developed with Hines two condo projects in Houston.

And he is finishing up work on the luxury Sapphire condominium tower on South Padre Island.