Cathexis Real Estate Development, a subsidiary of Houston-based Cathexis Holdings, is in the catbird seat with its ownership of prime Buffalo Bayou waterfront property — property that Interfin Corporation wants to develop.
Cathexis owns 9.25 undeveloped acres on the south end of the Rice Military neighborhood, just across the bayou from River Oaks Country Club. According to state records, Interfin — a Houston developer of luxury residential properties — wants to build a 28-story luxury apartment tower on the site. The tower will include a pool deck on the eighth floor.
Such a filing implies the land is either under contract, or Cathexis is collaborating. But Cathexis is in the oil and gas business and uses its real estate operation primarily to acquire energy-related resources. Interfin has made no official announcement and did not respond to our request for comment.
However, the project architect, Ziegler Cooper Architects, gave the state notice of plans for a tower with an estimated project cost of $92 million.
The project name is Avant Buffalo Bayou, and it has an estimated construction start date of October 2017. Ziegler Cooper stated the project would take about 27 months to complete.
Meanwhile, Interfin Holdings LP filed for a trademark registration on March 15 for the name ‘Avant Residences’ and a logo symbol. The trademark will be used for marketing and sales, as well as the management and operation of a real estate development, according to the filing.
As Interfin projects go, this location makes good sense. Much of the Buffalo Bayou waterfront between downtown and Loop 610 has either been developed as part of golf courses, or brought under the city’s protection as parkland, thanks in great measure to the non-profit organization Buffalo Bayou Partnership. It was just last year that the Buffalo Bayou Nature Park was completed.
The Cathexis land has an appraised value on the county tax roll of over $14 million, and is one of just a few tracts in private hands that form a gap between the park lands east of Shepherd Drive and Bayou Bend to the west.
Although Interfin has not yet publicized Avant Buffalo Bayou, the developer has heavily promoted Villa Borghese, a 26-story luxury condo tower in the 2800 block of Bammel Lane. Located in the River Oaks neighborhood, Villa Borghese is about 1 ½ miles south of the Cathexis site, as the crow flies.
When Interfin introduced Villa Borghese in August 2016, company founder Giorgio Borlenghi said construction would not start until half of the 46 condos were sold. You heard right: Only 46 condos in a 26-story tower. Residence living areas start at 4,800 square feet, and each unit comes with two corner terraces. The median price is $3.2 million.
Borlenghi estimated construction at Villa Borghese could begin by June 2017. He anticipated being on track to finish the tower in 2019.
Interfin proceeded with Villa Borghese after its success with a similar project. In a joint venture with Pierpoint Capital, Interfin opened Belfiore in 2016; the 26-story high-rise in Post Oak—about 2 miles west of the Villa Borghese project site—also has just 46 residences.