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HOUSTON-The Verandah at Centerfield, a 400-unit, class-A apartment community at 7700 Willowchase in the city’s northwestern tier has been sold to Houston-based NBC Holdings.

The property is located near Willowbrook Mall in the FM1960-Champions area. LNR Verandah LP, a partnership of Lennar and RDSI, is the seller.

The Verandah is part of a 94-acre mixed-use development, sporting commercial, residential, retail, hospitality and healthcare facilities–supported by over 600,000 people.

G. Craig LaFollette, senior vice president and a part of the CB Richard Ellis multifamily team that handled the deal, says NBC is a private capital investor. According to LaFollette, NBC has refinanced several properties in Austin, using the equity to purchase the Verandah and three other apartment communities.

J. Todd Stewart, senior vice president and the CB Richard Ellis lead on the deal, says 13 offers had been submitted for the property. Of those, LaFollette tells GlobeSt.com that eight had been private investors and five, institutional buyers. LaFollette believes this is significant because he says that had the same property been on the market last year, there would have been no institutional investors in the game.

“Prudent construction, strong job growth and steady consumer demand has propelled Houston’s multifamily market into 2001,” says LaFollette. “Absorption in the area continues to dominate the spotlight with 4,136 units absorbed this quarter, occupancy rates increased alongside strong absorption, climbing 91.3% citywide, the strongest occupancy figure since 1998.”

Todd Marix, vice president and the third CB Richard Ellis team member on the deal, agrees with LaFollette. He says Houston’s multifamily market will have strong returns this year, given rising energy prices, a more diversified economy and job growth at or above the national average.

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