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North Texas’ busiest apartment builder is gearing up for another round of construction

Having just sold five new rental communities, developer JPI plans to start building again.

2:20 PM on Aug 14, 2020 – Having just completed the biggest apartment sale in the company’s history, developer JPI is gearing up to start two more North Texas rental communities in the next few months.

And the company expects to break ground on even more apartments in 2021.

JPI just closed a blockbuster sale of five local apartment communities to investor Lone Star Funds.

Almost 2,000 apartments included in the sale were located in Irving, Richardson, Dallas and Farmers Branch.

Blake Taylor, JPI’s senior vice president and regional development partner, said the big sale was in the works for about seven months.

“It was a little of an elongated process because of COVID,” Taylor said. “But once we got together with them it took less than 60 days to wrap up.”

All of the apartments Lone Star Funds bought were less than two years old and the communities averaged more than 90% leased.

JPI has another 2,300 new D-FW apartment projects that are currently leasing and 1,200 that will open in the next three months, Taylor said.

After delaying some construction starts during the early days of the pandemic, JPI is now pushing ahead to get more developments out of the ground.

“We expect we will start construction on two new communities by the end of November,” Taylor said. “And we’ll target four to five communities to start next year.”

The two projects the company will start this year will be in Irving and Frisco, he said.

JPI for the last few years has been North Texas’ busiest apartment builder. The company nationwide has about 5,000 rental units under construction.

Taylor said the developer is shifting its folks to do more suburban building.

“We are still bullish on Dallas,” he said. “We’ll be a little more suburban than we have been the past.

“Urban will be a lower percentage in last couple years.”

JPI is currently building a large apartment community just north of downtown Dallas on U.S. Highway 75 near Haskell Avenue.

The company has also been very active in Irving and Farmers Branch.

Taylor said after some slowdowns earlier in the pandemic, JPI is seeing more activity at its local rental projects.

“We’re feeling better today than we were in March and April,” he said. “The data shows Dallas handled the COVID job layoffs better than the majority of the major markets.

“Investors want to be in multifamily housing and industrial real estate and that bodes well for us,” Taylor said. “There is still a shortage of homes.”

While local apartment rents are flat, he said the number of new renters signing up at JPI’s D-FW properties has grown in the past couple of months.

“There are less people walking in the door to look at apartments but they are leasing at a higher percentage,” Taylor said.

Second quarter apartment leasing activity in North Texas, which reflected the early months of the pandemic suffered big declines from a year ago, according to the latest numbers from analysts at RealPage in Richardson.

After coming to a halt in the first half of the second quarter, apartment leasing was up in June.

The D-FW is forecast to lead the country in new apartments this year, despite a slowdown in building starts.

More than 19,000 apartments are scheduled to open their doors in North Texas this year – more than any other major U.S. metro area, according to a new report by Yardi Systems Inc.

“The D-FW metro is first nationwide in terms of projected apartment construction, overshadowing New York metro for the third year in a row,” Yardi analysts said in the just-released study. “Following the national trend, apartment construction in D-FW is still lower than last year by 29%.

“In 2019, D-FW built 27,022 new units, while the peak was in 2018 with 27,882 apartments.”


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