By Meghan Hall
Charleston, S.C.-based Greystar is one of the largest developers and managers of multifamily properties in the United States. In virtually every major market, the company currently has $45.1 billion of assets under management and owns 181,400 units. More recently, however, Greystar has broken into the Portland development space with the completion of Sawbuck, a 182-unit apartment project.
“We have a presence in Seattle and that’s our Pacific Northwest Group. So, it kind of made sense to develop in Portland too; we have a very large property management business there,” explained Greystar’s Director of Development Doug Burges. “We really like how Portland offers a decent cost of living and good quality of life play. It’s just a really nice complement to other major West Coast markets.”
The property is located in the popular Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland at 1725 SW Salmon St. The site was appealing, according to Greystar, because of well-established tenants and organizations in the area, including Lincoln High School and Providence Park, which is home to the Portland Timbers and Thorns, the city’s men and women’s MLS teams.
“The corner that Sawbuck sits on is really special. We sit on a corner and each of our neighbors is an institutional stakeholder,” stated Burges. To be able to sit on a corner and share that space with those types of neighbors and stakeholders is pretty special…They have a really lasting presence [in the neighborhood].”
In all the development totals 182 units and includes 8,000 square feet of retail space. Sawbuck features a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units that are available to rent beginning at $1,500. Units range from about 460 square feet in size to nearly 1,000 square feet. The apartments are also equipped with stainless steel appliances, oversized windows, quartz countertops and other amenities. The building was designed by SERA Architects.
There are also a number of community amenities available to tenants. Co-working spaces, club lounge and gaming area, conference rooms with work pods, as well as a fitness studio and bike storage are available to residents. A rooftop deck, called the “GrandStand” caps off the building. From there, residents can get views into Providence Park to view games. The deck is also complete with seating, a fire pit and barbecue stations.
Burges noted, “We actually had a really fantastic pre-lease. It met our expectations.”
According to Sawbuck’s website, currently 135 units are still available for lease. Residents began moving into the community at the beginning of September.
Looking ahead, Greystar believes that the Portland multifamily market will continue to thrive due to improving economic fundamentals. In recent years, major employers such as Intel and Nike have either grown or put down roots in the area. Burges noted that Portland is becoming increasingly popular due to the quality of life it provides for residents.
“The [urban] Portland market…really is poised for an upward trajectory,” stated Burges. “…I think one of the reasons is because there is a limited supply of new multifamily product being delivered. The last bit of supply is delivering as we speak along with Sawbuck.”
Portland has “benefited” from pandemic-based migration patterns, according to data from Yardi Matrix. An influx of new residents has pushed rents up 0.7 percent to $1,473, outperforming the U.S. average. Yardi Matrix states that about 1,542 apartments camem online during the first four months of 2021. Going into the second quarter of the year, an additional 8,189 units were under various phases of approvals or construction. Since 2013, the metro’s housing stock has expanded by 37,563 units.
Greystar believes that Portland’s multifamily fundamentals will continue to improve, and the company intends to remain active in the market. Burges added, “We think there will be continued demand because of people moving for quality of life and job opportunities. We see the market as showing a lot of strength going into next year.”