Housing Authority of the City of Austin buys Bell Steiner Apartments in Steiner Ranch

Map created by Steiner Ranch resident Craig Smyser outlining 25 acres purchased recently by the city of Austin in Steiner. This is outlining the greenbelt portion of the purchase of the Bell Apartments property.


By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

The Housing Authority of City of Austin has recently purchased Bell Steiner Apartments for affordable housing, according to sources.

Approximately 25 acres of land was recently sold along Steiner Ranch Boulevard, according to resident Craig Smyser. He posted this information on his Facebook page Discover Steiner Ranch https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiscoverSteinerRanch/

“The buyer was the Housing Authority of the City of Austin which ‘is a public agency whose business is to ensure safe, quality affordable housing opportunities exist for families of low income,'” Smyser shared.

Four Points News has inquires into the Austin Housing Authority about the purchase and the plans for them but has not heard back as of this post.

Smyser goes onto share on his post that “This property is part of Steiner Ranch, but is not within the city limits of Austin. Further, this parcel is not located in a limited purpose annexed area.  As it turns out, the housing authority also bought the Bell Apartments on the same day they closed on the land.”

The total purchase of the property was just over 51 acres, including the apartments and the 25 acres of greenbelt.

“The purchase price for the Bell Steiner Apartments is $99,500,000,” according to the Housing Authority records.

According to the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin meeting on August 18, item #3 included this information about the purchase of Bell Steiner Apartments:

“Austin Affordable Housing Corporation (AAHC) was presented with an opportunity to partner with L & M Development partners, to purchase a 302 unit multi-family rental property called Bell Steiner Apartments. The development is located at 4800
Steiner Ranch Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78732, an extremely high opportunity area of 620 and the Steiner Ranch residential development.

This would be the fourth asset partnering with L & M Development Partners. AAHC currently owns several developments in the area, including recently acquired Bridge at Canyon Creek and Bridge at Volente.

If approved this will allow the creation of at least 50% of the units to be leased to residents below 80% AMI with 10% of the units at 60% AMI over the
next 12 months. These rent reductions average over $350 per month below current market rents, with the 3 bedroom units seeing a reduction of $565 per month.
Founded in 1984, L & M is a full service real estate development firm which develops, invests, constructs, try. Currently ranked #17 on the Affordable Housing Finance’s Top 50 Developers list nationwide, L & M is responsible for approximately $10 billion in development and investment, and has acquired, built, or preserved nearly 35,000 units. AAHC is working with Eben Ellertson, Head of Fund Management and Amanda Ryzowy.

The Bell Steiner Apartments were built in 2016 and sits on 51.9 acres. Some of the property amenities include a resort style swimming pool with lounge seating, splash pad and waterfall-fed lap pool, modern game room and media room, a digital café
with a Starbucks coffee bar, a large conference room and business center, state of the art fitness center and a fenced dog park.

There are 127 attached garages, 32 detached garages and 75 carports. The property feeds into the highly desirable award winning Leander school District with Steiner Ranch Elementary, Canyon Ridge Middle School and Vandegrift High School.
The property’s location provides fantastic access to many employers, retail shops, grocery stores and medical providers.

Below is a breakdown of the many variations of unit sizes. The property is currently 99% occupied and rents currently range from $1,640 for a 1 bedroom to $2,858 for a 3 bedroom.

The purchase price for the Bell Steiner Apartments is $99,500,000. L & M will be investing approximately $30,000,000 as a down payment and capital needs reserves. CBRE Capital Markets will provide a Freddie Mac affordable loan with a not to
exceed $38,000,000 at a rate of approximately 4.75%. AAHC will not have any liability and will not be responsible for any guarantees required by the lender other than standard carve outs. A current lease audit is underway to determine the initial
number of units already qualified under 80% AMI. AAHC and L&M are committed to leasing units to all eligible voucher holders. The property will be managed by Apartment Management Professionals. L & M has agreed to use the name “Bridge
at” for naming the property once closed.

Commissioner Carrington moved the Approval of Resolution No. 02756 by the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (the “Authority”) to take the following actions with regard to the Bell Steiner Apartments (the
“Development”) in Austin, Texas: (i) acquire the site of the Development; (ii) lease the Development site to the owner of the Development; and (iii) such other actions necessary or convenient to carry out this Resolution. 2nd Vice-Chairperson
Apostolou seconded the motion. The motion Passed (4-Ayes and 0-Nays)”

This post was updated on October 14, 2022 after the Housing Authority of the City of Austin returned inquiries by Four Points News.