A Dallas real-estate firm is ready to rescue the Huntwick Apartments on FM 1960 near Wunderlich Rd. from receivership — and also from its management, before that, by Louisiana real-estate investor Michael B. Smuck.
As of last year, just as it prepared to file for bankruptcy, Smuck’s Louisiana-based MBS Companies owned 65 apartment buildings in Texas — 33 of them in the Houston area. Even prior to that, the company’s property-maintenance skills had reached legendary status. The president and executive vice president of the Houston Apartment Association relayed complaints from residents and neighbors of MBS apartments to the Wall Street Journal last year, and reported that the griping had only increased after the influx of residents fleeing Hurricane Katrina in late 2005.
Here’s a commenter on the Houston Politics blog back in April (quoted in Swamplot), describing the scene at the 288-unit Huntwick:
Balconies have collapsed, lots of overgrown vegetation, the paint is peeling, there is obviously a total lack of maintenance. A large tree split in half on their property adjacent to Coral Gables Dr., and after the dead half lay on the ground (in plain view) for over 6 months, a crew finally cut it into smaller pieces, which then lay in the same spot for another 6 months.
After the jump: What’s happening to the Huntwick, plus the complete Michael B. Smuck Houston apartment roster!
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Globe St.‘s Amy Wolff Sorter reports that a joint venture led by Dallas’s Triumph Land & Capital Management has bought the Huntwick (along with the Timbers of Pine Hollow, another former Smuck property in Conroe) and plans to pump $4 million dollars into the property over the next two years. The renovation “will include interiors, new clubhouse and addition of a resort-style swimming pool,” she reports. Plus: A name change, a rehab cliche. The property will henceforth be known as the Providence at Champion.
Timbers of Pine Hollow will get $2 million and a flip — to a buyer skittish about bankruptcy deals.
What about the rest of the Michael B. Smuck properties? Sorter notes that “the bulk” of the portfolio went into receivership. MBS’s way-out-of-date website lists these complexes in the Houston area:
- Cornerstone Ranch, Houston (352 units)
- Ashley House, Houston (276 units)
- Merrywood, Katy (228 units)
- Las Ventanas, Houston (376 units)
- Signature Palms, Houston (396 units)
- The Lodge at Baybrook, Houston (322 units)
- Fountains of Tomball, Houston (160 units)
- Forest Cove, Seabrook (276 units)
- Serrano, Houston (438 units)
- Cranbrook Forest, Houston (261 units)
- The Huntwick, Houston (288 units)
- River Pointe, Houston (300 units)
- Willow Tree, Houston (100 units)
- Steeplecrest, Houston (260 units)
- Hunt Garden, Houston (100 units)
- Bayberrytree, Houston (268 units)
- Oaks of Ashford Point II, Houston (56 units)
- The Windward, Clear Lake City (274 units)
- The Leeward, Clear Lake City (256 units)
- The Belvedere, Houston (201 units)
- Pine Forest, Houston (161 units)
- Northern Oaks, Houston (448 units)
- The Chancellor, Houston (224 units)
- Oaks of Ashford Point, Houston (199 units)
- Woodland Hills, Kingwood (260 units)
- Country Village, Alvin (152 units)
- Timbers of Pine Hollow, Conroe (228 units)
- Rain Forest, Houston (128 units)
- Villages of Loch Katrine I, Houston (60 units)
- Villages of Loch Katrine II, Houston (216 units)
- Red Oak Place, Houston (186 units)
- Inwood Oaks, Houston (248 units)
- The Claridge, Houston (173 units)
(CoStar has a slightly different list.)
Grand total: 7,871 individual Michael B. Smuck-tended apartments! And some of them are famous! Remember the Serrano?
dead animals in the pools, falling/leaning down gates, open apartments with wet ceilings hanging down, grass knee high, and residents have complained of non-working ac, appliances, and no hot water. There are homeless living underneath the stairs, and if you walk in the complex, there are rats out in the open.
A number of the Smuck properties have sold already, and are possibly making progress under new identities as part of standard apartment-protection programs. But has anyone really tracked the path — or the damage — of Hurricane Smuck as it rolled through Houston?
Hey, that sounds like fun!
If you have information about the disposition or condition of any of the apartments listed above, please share what you know in the comments!
- JV Takes On $18M Debt in 576-Unit Double Play [Globe St.]
- MBS Apartment Titan Struggles Against Defaults [Wall St. Journal]
- TROUBLE IN TEXAS: Huge Multifamily Owner Nears Collapse [CoStar Group]
- Houston apartments: Help us find the blight [Houston Politics]
- Low-Rent Apartment Complexes are Hot! [Swamplot]
- Apartment Complex Changes Hands; Tenants Endure Meaningless Name Change [Swamplot]
Photo of Huntwick Apartments: Apartments.com