In many minds a piece of land stuck between two railroad tracks—industrial property on one side, older residential housing on another, and some newer development up the bluff—might not represent the first place for a multi-family housing project.
But those minds were not in Texas and not in Fort Worth for a recent project.
Real Projectives® worked with a Dallas-based developer and one of our largest private investor clients to bring a multi-family housing project to reality. We represented the equity investor during pre-venture diligence and throughout the two years of development and construction. The project presented several challenges that called for unique solutions.
Meeting Municipal Requirements
The first challenge centered on fulfilling Fort Worth’s Community Facilities Agreement (CFA) requirements which cover the creation of public infrastructure by private investors. This agreement is intended to assure that infrastructure meets city standards. That agreement covers the sidewalks, the roads, and parking along the frontage of the site. It’s still a process, none the less, one goes through to get the city’s approval. It’s a separate piece of the project.
For this project the requirements applied to the road, sidewalks and a small retaining wall holding back landscaping on one edge of the property. And, in the case of the road, city policy demanded another challenge. The city had updated and installed utilities under the road two years before our project started. However, a long-standing city edict stated that private developers can’t make any changes to that road for five years. Instead of just tapping our water lines off the main at every building, they wouldn’t let us cut into the road that many times. The solution was to create a singular main tap bringing water into our property and manifolding from within, running multiple parallel water and fire lines throughout the parking lot areas—the entire length of our property. One set of challenges overcome.
Mitigating Adjacent Tracks
With the site’s narrow land space, some of the building units end up in close proximity to active railroad tracks. While nearby train tracks are somewhat normal for the local market, we were concerned given how close, the frequency of train types, and intended quality of the apartments.
We had a noise and acoustic study performed that made recommendations for improvements. The sound and vibration mitigating improvements included higher STC-rated windows, double layers of drywall, and an extra layer of sound isolation, in those units that were the closest to the tracks. And it really paid off, as they’ve gotten no complaints of train noise. Those targeted enhancements were cost effective and made a real difference. While we first had concerns about people wanting to live between the train tracks, once some units were finished, the train’s noise level wasn’t bad inside at all, mitigation successful.
If you’re planning a new real estate development or renovation construction project, we’d be happy to discuss the risks and options to help you overcome some of the challenges. Contact us today at 888.357.7342 to discuss how leveraging our knowledge, expertise, and ambition could drive your next project or portfolio to success.