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HOUSTON-A multifamily developer from Greenwood Village, CO has broken ground on the 336-unit Lighthouse at Willowbrook Mall, choosing Northwest Houston for its first project outside its home state. The $24.8-million development will deliver in spring 2006.

“We had been building in Denver, but with the economy and market so bad, it makes no sense to develop there now,” Randy Bryant, president of Catalina Development Co. tells GlobeSt.com. As a result, the company’s execs decided to test new markets. “I am from Houston so I know the market and feel comfortable with it,” he says.

The Lighthouse at Willowbrook Mall will be situated on 30 acres at 12330 N. Gessner Rd. The developer acquired the land in December 2004 from McAlister & Co. of Houston. The garden-style complex will consist of 14 buildings and a clubhouse. It will feature a mix of 204 one-bedroom units, ranging from 708 sf to 1,005 sf; 120 two-bedroom apartments, each 1,161 sf; and 12 three-bedroom designs of 1,360 sf. The monthly rent will average $1 per sf, Bryant says.

“The Lighthouse isn’t the typical garden-style complex,” Bryant says. “We wanted to build a property where people would be happy to live.” He adds the complex will be low density with just 14 units to an acre and feature a two-acre conservation area along with a lake and bridge.

The locally based Meeks Partners designed the development, which will be built by the developer’s in-house construction team. Guaranty Bank provided construction financing. Bryant says Catalina Development Co. is considering two more multifamily developments in the Houston market. “We’re looking, but you have to be careful where you build,” he adds.

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