VOL. 131 | NO. 131 | Friday, July 1, 2016
Loeb Looking to Build Homes Near University of Memphis
By Madeline Faber
Loeb Properties has a piece of University of Memphis-area land under contract for purchase and the eventual construction of single-family homes.
The vacant land faces Ellsworth Street between Midland and Central avenues and was intended for townhomes as part of the Highland Row project.
Indiana-based developer Milhaus Ventures planned 35 townhomes on the west side of the development to complement the 354 apartments and 32,000 square feet of commercial space. Milhaus gained approval from the city-county Office of Planning and Development to build the townhouses but never broke ground. Construction of the greater Highland Row development is expected to continue into next spring.
Single-family construction is a departure for Loeb Properties, a local developer that many associate with the vibrant retail and entertainment areas.
Matt Prince, senior vice president of brokerage and development, said that Loeb was drawn to the site because of the hot residential demand in the area.
“When you find that you’re in a market where homes are pre-selling before they’re built or in partial construction, or homes that sell in 24 hours for the asking price, you’re getting a pretty strong indicator that people want to live there,” he said.
According to data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, chandlerreports.com, home sales in the university area averaged $111,590, or $76 per square foot, during the first quarter. This is up slightly from Q1 2015, when the average home sale came in at $111,452, or $71 per square foot.
Plans are still in early stages with an architect not yet named. Whatever Loeb Properties develops on the site will complement the Highland Strip retail area, which Loeb is building up with restaurants and small shops to serve the university area. Prince said that the site’s easy connection to the amenities of Highland Row, the Highland Strip and Walker Avenue make it a natural fit for those seeking a dense, urban environment.
The single-family homes will be built on what Prince calls “a unique site.” The homes will back up to Highland Row’s four-story multifamily buildings and 511-space parking garage.
Loeb Properties isn’t a stranger to residential development, Prince added. In 2008, the real estate firm bought more than 270 developed lots in and around Memphis. Over the past six years, Loeb sold off the lots to builders.