HOUSTON—Transwestern has arrangedfinancing for construction of the Astoria, ahigh-rise condominium tower that broke ground last year in theGalleria submarket here. The 29-story property, which has a totalof 75 residences, is scheduled for completion in December 2016.


Jan Sparks and MichaelSnodgrass, managing directors with Transwestern's Houstonoffice, organized the financing on behalf of developerRandall Davis of D.C. Partners.The project's architect of record is Page Southerland Page and thegeneral contractor is G.T. Leach Constructors LLC.


“It was a challenge to find a construction lender willing andable to take on a ground-up, for-sale condominium development ofthis size on a non-recourse basis,” says Sparks. “Randall Davis hasonce again demonstrated his skill and expertise in knowing whatworks and what is truly appealing for condominium buyers inHouston.”


The Houston Chronicle reported in 2013 that Davis hadbeen courting EB-5 investors individually for Astoria, followingplans to build a condo tower known as Titan on the same site. Thoseplans were scuttled, though, amid the 2008 downturn. In the dealarranged by Transwestern, individual investors provided equityfunding for the Astoria through the Houston EB5 Regional Center, anentity created via the US Citizenship and Immigration Services'EB-5 Visa program, which allows foreign nationalsto obtain lawful permanent residency by investing money injob-creating commercial enterprises.


The Chronicle reported last year that Davis bought theland for the property from McDonald's Corp., which had demolished arestaurant on the property. He based the Astoria's design on thehistoric Pantages Theater in Los Angeles.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.