More housing may come to Southlake Town Square

Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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More housing at Southlake Town Square could be on the way.

Southlake Planning and Zoning Commission members recommended approving a concept plan for additional brownstone housing in the popular district.

If City Council approves the plan, which it plans to see on Sept. 3, developers Cooper & Stebbins will build 33 more brownstone housing units.

A proposal for 40 high-end lofts in a new five-story building was tabled by the applicant when it became clear that commissioners were opposed to the idea.

Cooper & Stebbins representatives said because of the market, and the untested idea of high-end lofts, all 40 would be lease-only before becoming for-sale properties.

That struck a cord with commission member Michael Springer.

“I don’t even want to hear the word ‘rental,’ ” Springer said. “It goes back to pride of ownership. Anybody can rent it.”

Member Kate Smith also voiced opposition to the condominiums.

“Eventually we can be in a situation where the building fails, or rents have to be lowered,” she said. “This has the potential to drive down the rent if it doesn’t work, and drive down the value.”

Eventually we can be in a situation where the building fails, or rents have to be lowered.

Representatives of Cooper & Stebbins said the initial lease-exclusive approach creates comps for the area, allowing the market to better grasp the financing of high-end lofts in Southlake Town Square.

“Our intention is for it to be sold,” said Larry Corson, director of residential development. “The leasing is intended to be a mitigator of risk.”

Corson said financing for condominium buyers is difficult because banks have trouble buying into the concept.

The lofts would start at prices exceeding $500,000. The developer estimates rent would be around $3,500-$4,000 a month.

“The typical buyer will be an empty nester or somebody who wants to live five minutes from the airport,” Corson said. “Sorry to say there are a lot of divorcees in Southlake and there's a huge demand for it.”

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