Arlington’s Bonaventure Realty Group LLC has been tapped to build the first apartment project at Westphalia Town Center, a 478-acre mixed-use project being developed across from Joint Base Andrews in in Prince George’s County.
Bonaventure has signed a letter of intent with the project’s master developer, an affiliate of Calgary-based Walton Group of Cos., to build a 250-unit apartment building slated to break ground in early 2018. Bonaventure, whose portfolio includes The Encore in Alexandria and Arbor Grove in Stafford, also has an option to build a second, 150-unit apartment building on the site by Pennsylvania Avenue and Mellwood Road in Upper Marlboro.
Edward Fleming, president of Walton Development Management Inc.’s eastern U.S. region, said Bonaventure was selected from between six and 10 prospective multifamily developers given its corporate culture and ability to connect the planned apartments with the larger town center.
“They understand how a multifamily product can fit into a larger community, and that’s one of the things that we have to be careful about at Westphalia Town Center,” Fleming said. “It’s got to be something that fits in with the urban-suburban Westphalia.”
As proposed, the town center’s first phase is expected to include up to 400 apartments, 346 townhouses, a hotel with up to 150 rooms and 40 acres of retail. As Westphalia’s master developer, Walton has already graded much of the property, including the lot Bonaventure will develop. J. Price Architecture has been picked to design the roughly $60 million project, which is projected to deliver in early 2019. The precise design of the apartments, including whether they will be garden-style or taller, is still being worked on.
Bonaventure is the first apartment developer to sign on at Westphalia. It joins a trio of residential homebuilders that have signed contracts to buy all of the residential lots in the first phase. The first of those homes, from Haverford Homes, Ryan Homes and Mid-Atlantic Builders, have already been sold and are occupied. Walton is also joint venturing with Kimco Realty Corp. on a majority of the planned retail space, to include an anchor grocer that has not yet been selected.
Prince George’s County Council voted late last year to establish a special taxing district for the town center. It is an important step in enabling the project to be eligible for tax increment financing to help fund infrastructure improvements.
Walton’s lenders have also agreed to extend the maturity dates on the project’s senior and mezzanine loans until June and July respectively, an added cushion for the developer as it seeks to line up additional financing. In October, Walton had issued a notice on BusinessWire raising the prospect of a potential default, though company officials said they noted that for disclosure purposes and that default was not likely to happen.
This article originally appeared on Washington Business Journal.