Galium Capital buys River Oaks apartments from Arel Capital

Galium Capital is continuing its push into Houston’s multifamily market with the acquisition of an apartment complex in the River Oaks area.

The 242-unit Bayou on the Bend, at 5201 Memorial Drive, was previously owned by an LLC attached to Gabriel Bousbib, Harris Central Appraisal District records show. Bousbib is managing partner of New York-based real estate investment firm Arel Capital.

Newmark’s Zach Springer and David Mitchell brokered the transaction in an off-market deal. 

The price wasn’t disclosed. The property was assessed at $56 million by HCAD last year, a 20 percent increase since 2020.

Bayou on the Bend was 94 percent leased at the time of the transaction, according to a news release. Units average 1,200 square feet and range from one to three bedrooms. Rents in the area averaged $1,780 in the third quarter of last year, down more than 2 percent from the third quarter of 2002, according to Transwestern. 

A previous apartment complex on the site was demolished in 2001 after flooding from Tropical Storm Allison caused extensive damage. Houston-based private equity firm Commerce Equities bought the tract and redeveloped it in 2006. 

Galium’s holdings in Houston include more than 1,500 residential units and 90,000 square feet of attached retail space. The Miami-based private equity firm holds four upscale multifamily properties across the Inner Loop, including the Forum on San Felipe, Tate at Tanglewood, Millennium High Street and the 18-story historic high-rise the Rice — all acquired between 2020 and 2023. The firm holds over $600 million in commercial properties across the nation, with a majority of multifamily holdings located in Houston.  

Investors are likely to find fertile ground in Houston’s multifamily market. The Bayou City was one of a few major metros that saw a gain in effective rents in 2023, up 1 percent, and is expected to hold steady this year. Over half of the country’s other metros saw a decline in effective rents last year, according to Avison Young. Class A assets saw a nearly 1 percent drop. However, caution abounds. Over one-third of Houston’s multifamily loans were “criticized” going into the new year, according to Trepp.

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