‘Big wave’ of development in store for Huntsville-area apartment market

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The Huntsville-area apartment market is facing a new round of construction.

In Huntsville and Madison, 519 apartment units are now being built, according to a new report on the local market. And, about 1,000 more units that are part of six different projects are “scheduled for the near term,” and could possibly get started in the next 12 months, said David Wilson, a sales agent with Birmingham-based Rock Apartment Advisors and president of The David Wilson Co. in Huntsville. Some of those projects are speculative, though, and may not be built, he said.

Nearly 2,000 units are part of future projects whose timing depends on market conditions.

“We’re about to have a big wave (of apartment development) in the Huntsville market,” Wilson said today during the fifth annual Huntsville Commercial Market Symposium.

Only 644 apartment units were added to the market in 2010 and only one new property with 86 units was added last year, according to the report by Wilson, who tracks dozens of local apartment complexes.

“The largest new construction coming out of the ground,” he said, is the 226-unit Providence Place Apartments in the Village of Providence. Other developments under construction are Belk Hudson Lofts in downtown Huntsville, the second phase of Eagles Landing on Royal Drive in Madison, The Commons on Vermont Road in southeast Huntsville and the first phase of Limestone Creek north of Interstate 565 and east of Mooresville Road.

There’s a “tremendous” number of apartment units in the pipeline right now, “but they’re not all going to get done, at least in the near term.”

The overall apartment occupancy rate last June was 92 percent, the result of people needing temporary housing after last April’s storms, he said.

Wilson’s survey in February showed a 90 percent occupancy rate for newer, more upscale Class A apartments. Then, three weeks ago, the Class A occupancy rate had climbed to 94 percent, he said.

via ‘Big wave’ of development in store for Huntsville-area apartment market | al.com.

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