Caydon's Joe Russo lands Houston apartment projects

Caydon's Joe Russo lands Houston apartment projects
Caydon's Joe Russo lands Houston apartment projects

Melbourne high-rise developer Joe Russo has secured two development sites in Houston, Texas, with plans for about 1000 apartments.

He paid about US$8 million ($10.5 million) for a small block in Houston's "latte and laptop" mid-town district with plans for more than 350 apartments over 28 levels.

Russo told the Australian Financial Review it had an end value of about $228 million.

He has also bought a second site across the road that will hold more than 600 apartments, with plans including shops and a piazza.

"I looked at five cities in the US and fell in love with Houston," he said.

"It's a growing city with 6.5 million people, the biggest medical precinct in the US. In the midtown area where I have acquired my sites, there's a lot of gentrification going on with bars and restaurants opening up and a new light rail in operation."

He said finding new sites for development in Melbourne that stacked up was a lot harder. 

"I have not seen an opportunity in Melbourne worth pursuing in the past 12 months," he told the newspaper.

He said Melbourne sites with permits had too-high price tags, while those without permits now came with too much planning risk, after new interim height controls last year by Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

"You are still getting owners of unpermitted sites trying to sell them for the same prices as those which have permits," he said.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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