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Colorado Group Plans $80M Mixed-Use, Infill Project By Jennifer D. Duell Last updated: July 19, 2005 08:23am HOUSTON-Within three years, a mixed-use project is expected to rise on Block 98, a piece of vacant land adjacent to the new city park and the George R. Brown Convention Center. Two companies from Colorado Springs, LandCo Properties LLC and Equity Edge LLC, have formed a partnership to transform the 1.5-acre tract into two residential high-rises with ground-floor retail space. Block 98 is bordered by Rusk, Crawford, Walker and LaBranch streets near Toyota Center. Each tower will contain 150 units that will be priced "for the young, single professional," says Michael Raider, LandCo's COO. He tells GlobeSt.com that construction will begin in about three years. "That's when the market will be ready," he says, explaining one tower will have rental housing and the other will be condos. "I am not sure that we'll break ground on both towers at the same time." Raider, a Houston native, was eyeing Block 98 about a year before he closed the deal with Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. for $6.5 million. "We see Houston as Denver about seven years ago with the new light rail, entertainment and park creation. Denver is just a huge residential market right now," he says, "and we think Houston is following right behind it." Raider's not yet selected the project architect, but says he's hoping to use a local firm. The partnership, Block 98 Partners Ltd., obtained a $4.9-million loan from Southern National Bank of Texas to acquire the land. Tucker Knight, a director with Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP's local office, arranged a three-year bridge loan with an adjustable interest rate. The Block 98 development will be the second project that LandCo has tackled in Houston's CBD. The company recently acquired the former Days Inn Hotel at 801 St. Joseph Parkway for redevelopment into 251 luxury apartments and retail space. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2006, with units delivering in early 2007.