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HOUSTON-In the wake of the sale, the 650,000-sf MetroNexus Technology Center will be razed in 60 to 90 days to make way for multifamily and single-family development. The new owner, Fleming Loop Partners, intends to build a $30-million apartment complex on 10 acres and sell the 24-acre balance to homebuilders.

Jenard Gross, principal of Fleming Loop Partners, chased the 2525 Minimax Dr. property for two years. The sale price is off limits, but Genard says it was listed for $16 million to $18 million. Industry experts say it’s hard to value the property, which cost $21 million in 2000 when it was bought by New York City-based MetroNexus and Macfarlan Real Estate Investment Management of Dallas. For previous story, click here.

“We’ve been talking to MetroNexus on and off for two years,” Gross tells GlobeSt.com, adding he can see his new investment from his office window. “It’s almost impossible to find a tract this size close in. We were very lucky to find this land.” The land is situated inside Loop 610 near the US Highway 290 junction.

Gross says it will take six months to scrape the site. A 300-unit multifamily development could break ground roughly a year to 18 months after the carrier hotel comes down. “We want to wait for a healthy apartment market in Houston,” he explains. At the earliest, he says it will be late 2006 before ground breaks. By the end of Q3, he hopes the architect will be selected for the as-yet unnamed development.

Michael Palmer, first vice president in Houston for CB Richard Ellis Inc., is marketing the excess land. Gross says it’s preliminarily priced at $15 per sf.

“With the redevelopment activity in the area, I think whole area is in transition,” Gross says, pointing to Houston Independent School District’s decision to move its administrative offices nearby and the renovation of Northline Mall. “I think anything inside the loop is going to be in tremendous demand.” He predicts single-family homes will sell for upward of $200,000.

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