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FORT WORTH-A Dallas developer could break ground as early as next week on 237 units of seniors housing after waiting for a green light for more than a year. What is certain is that the $16-million Hulen Bend project kicks off before the calendar flips.

Tony Sisk, president of Texas Affordable Communities, has closed on 9.91 acres as the final step before construction. The past year has been tied up securing the necessary tax credits and finalizing plans for the project. With everything now in place, the land along Old Granbury Road in the southwest sector of Fort Worth has been bought from Centex Homes of California II LLC. The landowner of record is MAEDC Hulen Bend Senior Community LP.

The complex, geared to seniors 55 years and older, is the first multifamily project to rise in a decade in the Hulen Bend neighborhood, Robert Stone of Henry S. Miller Commercial tells He represented the MAEDC partnership for the land purchase while Chris Colombe, also with Henry S. Miller Commercial, handled negotiations for the seller.

“For-profit developers overlooked this site because the rents they had to have….could not be achieved,” Stone explains. The project site is nestled in a mature single-family neighborhood with nearby 1980s-vintage apartment communities. He adds that Sisk’s undertaking will enable senior citizens to remain in their neighborhood, but with the amenities of a retirement community lifestyle. The units, which will rent for about $600 per month, will average 850 sf.

The plan is for Sisk to turn over the Hulen Bend Apartments to MAEDC for lease-up. Units will start to deliver in August 2003 and be phased in through February 2004. GTF Design of Fort Worth is the architect. ICI Construction of Dallas is the general contractor. Lend Lease put up $4 million in tax credit equity while Newman Capital provided $12 million in tax exempt bonds for the project. Bank of America provided a $12-million, 36-month construction loan.

Hulen Bend Apartments has a sister project rising in North Arlington, the 261-unit Claremont at 251 E. Sanford St. The first units deliver in May 2003. Sisk says he has another six seniors complexes on the 2003 drawing boards for North Texas.

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