By Spencer Brewer – Staff Writer, Dallas Business Journal

Republic Property Group has over 600 build-for-rent units in development as the company aims to find its niche in the growing asset type.

This includes a 396-home community in Fort Worth by Roanoke called Litsey Creek Cottages and a 158-homecommunity in Cedar Hill called the Cottages at Waterford. Republic Property Group has a decent pipeline behind these developments but is currently in an exploratory phase with this asset type.

The company has 235 homes off the ground in these two communities.

“Right now, everyone talks about build-for-rent as one homogenous mass, but the reality is there are different strategies and different types of build-for-rent within that,” said Tony Ruggeri, co-CEO of Republic Property Group. “I think those will settle into proper segments over time.”

Republic Property Group was founded by Richard Strauss in 1967 and originally developed opportunistically across the county. Eventually, the company settled on master-planned community development and is behind some staple communities in North Texas, such as Walsh and Light Farms.

The company broke ground on its first build-for-rent development last June. Republic Property Ground entered the build-for-rent market because it was concerned that rising home prices were threatening housing affordability for some buyers.

Today, it’s difficult for community developers to deliver housing under $400,000 in this market, Ruggeri said, which creates opportunities for build-for-rent products. The company prioritizes having diversity in its communities and was concerned that pricing was starting to merge for all its products, which would push some consumers out.

“We’re always going to focus on creating a strong sense of community, and we felt, looking at the type of rental housing that was being put on the ground at the time, that we had an opportunity to create rental housing in a different way that focused on the resident and cultivated that sense of community within a rental housing product type,” he said.

Republic Property Group is doing this using a mews concept, or homes that front a park or a greenbelt. This creates a sense of community in a rental area, he said and encourages residents to get to know their neighbors.

Every home the company is developing has a garage and a private yard. The company is developing units that range from just over700 square feet all the way up to over 1,600 square feet.

“I think this product type is going to evolve and settle, similar to single family for sale product or multifamily product, where you settle into segmentation of all different types,” Ruggeri said.

Republic Property Group is launching a sub-brand, called Record Street Residential, to head its build-for-rent business. Right now, the company is treating each development on a case-by-case basis with independent structures. Whether it retains ownership depends on circumstances like the partners involved and the location of the community.


Dallas Business Journal, July 11, 2022, Spencer Brewer | View Original Article