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FORT WORTH-A prominent multifamily developer is readying the scene for a ground-breaking next week on a 314-unit complex, the first to rise since 1999 in the lineup for the City View section of Fort Worth. About $19.4 million, representing 90% of the total cost, has been borrowed for the Verandas at City View apartments.

Bud Hudgins of Fort Worth-based Hudgins Co. is the development partner for the owner of record, FW Verandas at City View Ltd. For Hudgins, it’s the third large multifamily project that he’s started in the last three months in the region’s suburban neighborhoods.

Hudgins’ latest undertaking ends a “three or four” year streak by HUD not to insure any project, north of Austin, designed with more than 300 units, Doug Ryan, vice president of Dallas-based Malone Mortgage Co., tells GlobeSt.com. “The market,” he says, “has to be really strong for HUD to insure the project.”

Ryan and Gayle Temple, also a Malone vice president, arranged the 40-year financing package. The Malone-financed assumable loan at 7% interest is insured through HUD’s 221(d)(4) Multifamily Accelerated Processing program.

The Verandas at City View will rise on a 19.3-acre tract at the intersection of Oakmont and Harris Parkway. Hudgins was poised to buy and build in 1999 until four other developers rolled out complexes, each with 350 or more units, along the nearby Bryant-Irvin Road, the primary feeder for a steadily growing retail hub on the southwest side of town. “He was waiting until the conditions were right,” Ryan explains of Hudgins’ decision to act.

Hudgins’ three-year watch over City View paid off when his land appraisal came in lower than the financing team’s calculation. Hudgins counter-blocked with documentation from several multifamily communities that he sold or had under contract within a three-mile ratio. “He affected his own land value based on his market knowledge,” says Temple.

The site abuts a toll road that’s still in the planning stages, but is being laid out to connect the southwest corridor to the CBD. According to Ryan, Hudgins had the acreage under contract for a year.

James, Harwick & Partners Inc. of Dallas is the architect. CB&L of Dallas is the general contractor.

The 18-building complex will consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, some with garages. The average size is 939 sf, ticketed to rent for 90.6 cents per sf or $851 per month. A resort-style pool, spa, volleyball court and picnic area are part of a common-area design that features a community room with fireplace and business and fitness centers. Delivery is set for December 2003.

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