Greystar, which launched a brand of apartment communities targeting the “missing middle” housing market, is testing the waters with a project in Houston.

Annual rent increases in communities under the Greystar Ltd. brand will match the national consumer price index or 3 percent, whichever is greater, Houston Chronicle Report. Greystar said it was implementing the strategy to expand the supply of workforce housing.

Ltd. Med Center Houston apartment renderings
Ltd. Med Center Houston apartment renderings (Greystar)

Greystar senior managing director Scott Berka said the brand’s target tenants often could not afford new market-rate apartments, but also did not qualify for subsidized housing.

“We want to create a win-win outcome that provides new, quality housing at affordable rents,” Burka told the outlet. “The Ltd., importantly, provides existing residents with predictability of rental costs. With Ltd., we are looking to provide existing residents with ‘housing certainty’.”

The South Carolina-based developer is testing the concept at a 378-unit complex called Ltd. Med Center, located at 12806 Buffalo Highway in Houston, just outside the Texas Medical Center. About 7 miles south. The complex opened in April and already has an occupancy rate of 61%. The company is also experimenting with the brand in Davenport, Florida.

Ltd. Med Center Houston apartment renderings
Ltd. Med Center Houston apartment renderings (Greystar)

Ltd. Portfolio rental increases will be based on the CPI published in January each year if the increase exceeds 3%. This can benefit residents during periods of rapid rent growth, but it can also work against them in markets where rents are flat or even falling, like Houston.

Ltd. apartments offer a higher quality experience than similarly priced older neighborhoods often associated with workforce housing, Greystar said. For example, Ltd. Med Center advertises rents for a one bedroom starting at around $1,100, while the average rent across the large medical center area is around $1,400.

— Quinn Donoghue

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