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HOUSTON-One month after the ground-breaking, Greystar Real Estate Partners of Charleston, SC has signed Seattle-based Phoenix Capital Partners Ltd. as the lead equity partner for the Calais at Courtlandt Square, a 356-unit project planned for the midtown area of downtown Houston.

Tom Fish and Holly Minter in L.J. Melody & Co.’s Houston office placed the equity financing and arranged a construction loan for the project. Fish tells GlobeSt.com that the deal has been working for about nine months, but he still considers the project an easy sell because it has one of the “best locations in the city.” He wouldn’t disclose how much Phoenix Capital is kicking into highly publicized $40-million project.

Whether the joint venture seeks permanent financing or sells will be decided later, says Stacey G. Hunt, Greystar’s regional partner. The Calais at Courtlandt is to be done in fall 2003.

The three four-story buildings atop two recessed parking garages are being positioned on three city blocks in the Courtlandt Square area of midtown. The project area is bounded by Interstate 59 and Louisiana Street, a thoroughfare famous for its French Quarter-style architecture and one reflected in the design of the Calais at Courtlandt. Brennan’s restaurant is located just east of the project area. Fish believes the architectural ambiance combined with the “incredible exposure” from its proximity to the busy Louisiana Street interstate exit spell success.

The units will range from 626 sf to 1,725 sf and carry rents of $965 per month to $2,600 per month. Hunt says the average rent will be around $1,500 per month.

Hunt says Greystar is the largest fee manager of apartments with 13,000 units in its Houston-area portfolio. Four complexes are in the Inner Loop. Hunt also points out the firm has been awarded management and leasing contracts for three other apartment projects now under construction, including 3333 Allen Parkway development.

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