Allen Harrison Company
The oil and gas industry drives the decisions of a multitude of businesses in Texas where new developments and construction are a common sight. Although companies must be aggressive in propositions, negotiations and overall execution, Allen Harrison Company believes in remaining true to its core while doing so and maintaining its focus on developing relationships.
Co-founded by Will Harper and Paul Forbes more than five years ago, the Houston-based company began after they saw an opportunity to improve the experience of the acquisition and development process, as well as construction and property management. “They saw a great opportunity in Houston and a ready team of colleagues with decades of experience to deploy the strategy,” Marketing Manager Jen Merrihew says. “Will and Paul knew they could make a difference and build a company of and for value.”
Allen Harrison focuses on multifamily developments because its founders’ previous experience allowed the opportunity for them to see untapped niches in the industry. Harper and Forbes’ insights have proven correct as the company enters its sixth year. “It’s an area that is always going to keep busy because there are always people who can benefit from multifamily housing,” Merrihew says. “As a company, we are very conscious that we are not just providing great living spaces, but a great living experience for our residents.”
Although Allen Harrison has considered developing multifamily units in new markets throughout the southern United States, it has kept its focus to Texas – Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston – for now. “It is local for us, which allows us to have a lot of hands on the ground in terms of construction, management or other needs in a day’s time,” Merrihew explains. “We are very happy with the properties we have here and have looked at our options in other areas of the southern U.S. For now, Texas has provided great opportunities.”
To date, the company has acquired 22 assets with total costs of $355 million and is developing or has developed seven assets that total $206 million.
Allen Harrison originated on the concept of offering premium development, acquisition and asset management, coupled with stellar construction services, Merrihew says. This soon evolved into property management services as well, becoming the all-inclusive one-stop shop it is today.
“Our vertical integration has been a great resource and provided a benefit to everyone Allen Harrison works with,” she adds. “From investors to on site employees, residents and subcontractors – our stakeholders are able to reap the benefits from everything being in-house. Some companies only do construction or focus on property management: we excel and practice continuous improvements in all those things.”
Because there is always a demand for more multifamily housing, Allen Harrison is looking for underdeveloped areas in Texas that have potential. “We are looking for new properties to do new developments and not omitting what we haven’t done in the past,” Merrihew says. “Our current history has been working with garden-style communities, but now are commencing on a five-story high-rise, The Highbank, in Houston, leveraging the prior experiences our team has the knowledge to execute.”
The Highbank is Allen Harrison’s much-anticipated five-story high-rise that is expected to be completed in 2017. It will be the first project of its kind for the company as a collective. “We are very excited about the opportunity to finally work together as a company on a project such as this,” Merrihew says. “I could see why some might look at it as something we haven’t done before, but I disagree. Within our team, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge on a variety of projects. Being able to pool the ideas and resources we have within our own walls on The Highbank is something we are eager about.”
The Highbank will join 13 other properties managed by Allen Harrison. Situated at 8877 Frankway Dr. in Houston, the community will include 284 units and offer state-of-the-art amenities, including a 24-hour fitness center and yoga room, outdoor fireplace and grill, a Wi-Fi-enabled e-lounge, as well as a wine bar. The living spaces will feature details such as walk-in showers, natural stone countertops, kitchen islands, subway tile accents and full size washer and dryers.
The surrounding area is unique because it offers a wide array of amenities, activities and employers in close proximity. Less than one mile away is a retail plaza with various big-brand stores, while Bray’s Bayou – also less than a mile away – offers a great outdoor space for running, biking and other activities.
Just three miles from The Highbank is NRG Park, which is home to NRG Stadium. Although it is the home to the NFL’s Houston Texans, NRG Park is also a venue of year-round entertainment. Events include the world-famous Houston Rodeo, chili cook-offs and concerts.
Even just five miles from the property, residents will find a lot to see and do. The Texas Medical Center (TMC) is one of the best medical complexes in the world, Merrihew say, and its 106,000 employees see 7.2 million visitors a year.
The area has the largest concentration of life sciences professionals in the country. TMC backs up to Rice University, Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theater, and Houston’s impressive museum district. Residents of The Highbank will be perfectly situated to take in a majority of the signature places Houstonians frequent.
The addition of The Highbank is a great foot forward to keep the company’s significant momentum.
After making such impressive strides in their first five years, Allen Harrison expects to spend the next five with additional growth and accolades.
Regardless of growth, the company works hard to keep its close-knit community. “The company, started by two motivated leaders who knew they could offer something better, has now grown to an organization of over 100 experienced professionals,” Merrihew says. “If we have accomplished this much in such a short amount of time, I look forward to the challenge of us doing even better by the time we mark a decade in the business.”