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HOUSTON-Six months after its launch, Mosaic Residential Inc. has taken its first deed in its backyard: the 259-unit Mansions of Shadowbriar Apartments. Similar sales have closed at $35,000 to $45,000 per door.

The new owner is planning to spend $1.7 million to upgrade to the 93%-leased, class B complex at 12200 Overbrook Lane. The Mansions of Shadowbriar was built in 1982 as a 328-unit condominium project, with 69 of the units now individually owned. Jay O’Connor, Mosaic Residential’s founding partner, says the company will run the complex as a rental just like the seller, Sendera Investment Group of Austin.

O’Connor says the 12.5-acre asset stands to gain upside from its location, which is near major employment centers and across the street from Shadowbriar School at 2650 Shadowbriar Dr. “We look for deals with exemplary schools nearby,” he says, “and this is one of the best schools the HISD [Houston Independent School District] has to offer.”

In addition, O’Connor tells GlobeSt.com that “we also feel there’s the ability to increase rents significantly once we’re done with renovations.” Upgrades will include new countertops, floors, blinds appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures.

The Mansions of Shadowbriar, a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, has an average rent of $660 per month. Units average 803 sf.

Harbor Group International LLC of Norfolk, VA, was Mosaic’s equity partner in the deal. Apartment Realty Advisors in Houston brokered it.

Since its launch, Mosaic has acquired two complexes in Plano, TX and is eyeing other deals in Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which O’Connor says should close in the first quarter. “We’d like to do six deals in 2008, though we anticipate the deal volume in multifamily housing in general will be slower during the next year both locally and nationally,” he adds. “Our buying criteria are largely driven by income levels within a one-to-five mile radius.”

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