Property: Amavi Celina
Developer: Mill Creek Residential
Location: Celina, Texas
Unit Size: 271 single-family rental homes
Development Cost Estimate: $52.7 million-$70.4 million*
*Calculated based on community square footage data and North Texas single-family BTR development cost estimates provided by Marcus & Millichap
Boca Raton, Florida-based multifamily developer, owner and operator Mill Creek Residential is in the process of building its first single-family rental property in North Texas — Amavi Celina in Celina, Texas, located 40 miles north of downtown Dallas. Mill Creek broke ground on the project in early March, and currently expects to have homes ready for move-in by fall 2023.
The community will offer 271 housing units across 45 acres, with a mix of cottages, townhomes and single-family detached homes. The 155 detached cottages will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts, and will offer 10-foot-long private backyards and surface parking. The 94 townhomes will offer three-bedroom layouts, while the remaining 22 single-family homes will all have four bedrooms. Both home types will include two-car attached garages and large backyards.
Amenities at the community will include a 3,000-square-foot clubhouse and leasing office, a swimming pool and deck area, a fitness center, a dog park and more than a mile of new trails that connect to Celina’s broader trail system. A leasing and maintenance team is located on site, but prospective residents can elect to have a fully contactless leasing and move-in process.
Amavi Celina marks the second community in Mill Creek’s Amavi single-family residential brand, following Amavi Mooresville, which broke ground in Mooresville, North Carolina, in January. A third community, Amavi Sherrills Ford, broke ground in early May in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina. Both are expected to open in mid-2023.
Mill Creek intends to operate the property through the development and lease-up process and beyond, according to Aubrey Dym, regional vice president of land acquisition in Texas for Mill Creek Residential.
“We have several Amavi communities in the works, approaching 10, and will continue to pursue opportunities as we cultivate the single-family, build-to-rent brand,” Dym told Multifamily Dive. “Target destinations will include those similar to Celina — suburban markets that exhibit strong fundamentals for single-family demand and possess a commuter-friendly locale to a larger in-demand market.”
Celina on the rise
Celina’s population more than doubled between the 2010 and 2020 Census, up 178% from 6,028 in 2010 to 16,739 in 2020. The Celina government website projects that the town’s population could grow to 350,000 at full buildout, up from just over 22,000 today.
While Celina and nearby Prosper, Texas, are quite a long commute from Dallas’s urban core, they are only 15 miles from nearby Frisco, Texas, which has seen a large number of corporate relocations, according to Carl Whitaker, director of research and analysis at RealPage. In addition, once complete, the expansion of the Dallas North Tollway will connect both exurbs to one of the city’s main highways.
Given the area’s potential for growth, about 1,300 new multifamily units are under construction within 5 miles of downtown Celina. RealPage’s data counts nine build-to-rent/single-family rental properties comprising 1,891 housing units in the Frisco submarket (which includes Celina), plus a tenth property that does not yet have a unit count.
Other upcoming residential developments in Celina include Legacy Hills by Centurion American, a 3,200-acre master-planned community that broke ground in early May, set to offer 7,000 single family homes and 4,100 multifamily units at full buildout.
“Dallas is a city with lots of suburban areas that work as quasi-urban centers where mixed-use development is anchored by large office buildings,” Whitaker told Multifamily Dive. “That probably helps support the rapid growth of these once-exurban areas like Celina and Prosper which are beginning to function as ‘suburbs of the centralized suburban business district.’"