StoryBuilt and IHP Capital Partners form $44 million real estate joint venture

Leading firms partner to bring 84 new homes in a uniquely designed and connected mixed-use community to East Austin

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Ellie May
StoryBuilt and IHP Capital Partners announced a $44 million real estate joint venture to fund the residential portion of Ellie May, a new and dynamic mixed-use community located in Austin, Texas.

StoryBuilt, an urban residential and commercial community developer, and IHP Capital Partners, one of the nation’s most prominent providers of equity financing for residential real estate development, announced a $44 million real estate joint venture (JV) to fund the residential portion of Ellie May, a new and dynamic mixed-use community located in Austin, Texas. The JV is bringing 84 unique condominiums with 28 distinct home types to the development, offering residents a variety of housing types and styles.

Ellie May will provide a pedestrian-focused, live-work, campus-like setting that is expected to appeal to the young professional and millennial buyer. The project’s new home typology, two- and three-story buildings with townhomes and flats with subterranean parking, brings a unique design approach to the East Austin submarket. The other elements of the project include a $38 million development within a Qualified Opportunity Zone that consists of 76,500 square feet of office and restaurant space to be developed by StoryBuilt.

Jeff Mayo, director of capital markets at StoryBuilt, said: “IHP Capital Partners brings a deep understanding of how value is created in the housing business. Their team truly gets what StoryBuilt is all about as a ‘customer first’ developer, and we envision a long-lasting relationship working together in the future. Our joint venture at Ellie May is the first in a series focused on Austin for-sale housing but could include opportunities in StoryBuilt’s other footprint markets as well. The joint venture program is synergistic in several ways, offering IHP additional exposure to urban products in the Texas markets and offering StoryBuilt flexible programmatic construction equity to support its ever-growing pipeline in Austin.”

Ellie May’s 84 homes are composed of 76 market-rate homes and eight affordable homes in a variety of floorplans. The market-rate homes will include 35 two- and three-story townhomes, 14 of which include a rooftop deck, 31 flats and 10 two-story townhomes. Average residence size for the market rate homes is 1,111 square feet.

“Nearly all of the recent condominium developments in the East Austin submarket are traditional in design, such as flats accessed through a shared hallway. The homes at Ellie May will offer a ground-level front door for each unit and common area open space. These are elevated features that we anticipate will appeal to homebuyers over other new home projects in the area,” said Jeff Enes, senior vice president at IHP Capital Partners. “IHP is pleased to partner with StoryBuilt on the development of Ellie May. StoryBuilt is a well-established Austin-based residential builder with a reputation for creating unique products that are highly desired by buyers. We look forward to working together in bringing Ellie May to life and on additional Texas projects.”

Located at 755 Springdale Road, Ellie May is within convenient walking or driving distance to ample restaurant and entertainment options. It is easily accessible to regional transportation and employment centers such as Oracle’s new location and Tesla. Downtown Austin is within a 10-minute drive and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is within a seven-minute drive.

The 4.9-acre property acquired by the JV was formerly the home of Springdale Farms, which supplied produce to local restaurants and, in 2013, began a farm-to-table restaurant named Eden East. The property is vacant except for a farmhouse that will relocate to the western portion of the site and will become a new Eden East farm-to-table restaurant. East Eden will manage Ellie May’s urban farm.

“While IHP and StoryBuilt are bringing a new and unique product to this part of Austin, our team is focused on creating a community that reflects and enhances the authentic character of the existing neighborhood,” added Enes.

Entitlements for Ellie May are secured and the JV plans to break ground on the project in Q1 2022. Condominium pre-sales are expected to begin in 2022 with the first home closing planned for Q1 2024.

The Ellie May community is IHP’s first development project with StoryBuilt and its first in Austin’s urban core. In 2021, IHP and Värde Partners together acquired Sunfield, a late-stage master-planned community in Buda, a quickly growing suburb of Austin.