Attorney and developer Jerome Karam Houston, committed to redevelopment, recently acquired two apartment complexes located at 717-725 Broadway in the Old Galveston area. The acquisition probably makes the developer the largest commercial property owner in the county. He is well known as the developer of high-profile properties, such as the Falstaff Brewery, which he transformed from a falling-down property to a major event and storage center.
Jerome Karam Houston bought the properties, including the four-unit Sonja and 12-unit Riviera, to make significant renovations. As 1930-era properties, the complexes have an architectural interest. The developer doesn’t plan to evict any of the tenants until their leases expire over the next several months, but he plans to transform the properties for short-term rentals as AirBandBs.
The complexes are perfect for short-term rentals because they enjoy parking spaces that are often at a premium in the area. They’re also close to the University of Texas and Galveston Beach, making them ideal for patient relatives and student parents who plan to visit. Galveston parking problems are one of the major drawbacks of short-term rentals, and the properties have dedicated parking, which makes them an ideal choice.
Karam is confident about the AirBandB business model, and his development plans fulfill his promise of creating more short-term and long-term rentals in the area. He is currently seeking approval from the planning department and League City Council for building a 300-plus-unit apartment complex at Pinnacle Park. The apartments’ projected rates are $1.90 per square foot, which translates to $1,200 for a 650-square-foot apartment.
The purchase and redevelopment of the Sonja and Riviera creates short-term rentals that will be in great demand. According to Karam, the acquisition involved David Bowers, who represented The House Company as the seller, and David Wallace, who represented Advance Regional Agency as the buyer.
CityStreet Residential Partners Builds to Last
CityStreet Residential Partners are involved with developing the 300-unit League City apartment complex. The group has an excellent record of developing high-profile properties that address some of League City officials’ concerns, who have frequently denied permits for various mixed-use developments.
League City’s leaders aren’t generally supportive of multifamily developments, which they feel can attract crime, generate traffic problems, create school overcrowding, and lower property values. These complexes only generate a small amount of income for the city government while requiring a significant infrastructure investment.
However, CityStreet Residential Partners doesn’t develop transient properties to flip, and the company maintains high standards in attracting quality tenants who have high disposable incomes to spend in local shops, which would help to drive the luxury apartment rental industry on the mainland for wealthy empty-nesters, urban millennials, and well-heeled retirees.
Jerome Karam Houston and JMK5 Holdings
Well-known for high-profile community restorations, Jerome Karam Houston and his company, JMK5 Holdings, LLC, have consistently brought the “wow” factor to his development projects. The company generally exceeds expectations and stimulates local economies by hiring locally and buying materials and services from the local community and surrounding communities. The result is a new life to buildings that seem beyond repair and developing new communities that help to revitalize stagnant neighborhoods.
Some of the company’s current projects, in addition to the refurbishing of the Sonja and Riviera, include Bayou Bend Estates, which is a 47-unit waterfront property, and The Galveston Bay Club, which offers a limited number of lots for building. The company also handles 40 additional lots of waterfront properties in Hideaway Estates, which offer spectacular views, and teeming coastal wildlife. Karam also plans to accept tenants at Magnolia Bend Manor in January of 2021. Each JMK5 Holdings property enriches the community. The revitalization of the Sonja and Riviera makes a signature statement of the company’s core values: exceeding expectations and bringing new life to older buildings.