Last month Vancouver saw one of its highest transactions over the last year, with the buyer entering the Washington market for the first time. Jackson Square Properties (JSP) bought The Meadows at Cascade Park Apartments from Belkorp Group of Companies for $35.3 million, or $178,030 a unit, according to public records.
San Francisco-based JSP is a privately-held real estate company known for renovating multi-family assets. Since 2004, it has acquired over 10,500 apartment units in California, Florida, Texas, Utah and now Washington. Belkorp Group owns and operates a diverse group of companies headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. From its origins in the packaging industry, the Belkorp Group has evolved into an investment enterprise with operations in real estate, investment management and environmental services. Neither were available for further comment.
The apartment complex, located at 13314 SE 19th Street in the Cascade Park neighborhood of Vancouver, sits on 10.6 acres with 19 buildings totaling 199,377 square feet of space and brought the buyer into the Washington market. According to HFO Investment Real Estate, this transaction was one of the three highest in Vancouver over the last year.
Originally built in 1989, The Meadows at Cascade Park features newly renovated one, two, and three-bedroom units ranging from $1,025 for 656 square feet to $1,375 for 1,088 square feet a month.
The housing market in Vancouver has experienced a 4.5 percent job growth with a shift towards skilled industry, according to Denny Miller, founder of Zenith Properties NW LLC, in an interview with Vancouver’s Business Journal last September. Clark County has the newly-relocated PeaceHealth, Fisher Investments and Banfield Pet Hospital, as well as major expansion plans for Oregon businesses like Nike and Intel. Skilled workers who need housing are moving in droves to the greater Portland Metro area, many of them settling in Clark County.
However, all of this progress in the rental market is not without distress for some, according to Miller. The increasing rental rates and tight demand in the rental market can mean hard times for many low-income renters. Affordable housing in Clark County is a real issue.
The Cascade Park neighborhood consists of approximately 19,255 residents in 3.38 square miles, with a large percent of its households falling into the lower middle class range, earning between $25,000 and $50,000 per year, according to Findthedata.com.
The Vancouver City Council is planning on instituting changes to help tenants in this economic shift. There are several rules on the horizon that will impact landlord-tenant law in an effort to manage affordable housing. According to Trulia, the average rent over the last month was $1,575.
The Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) is currently seeking proposals from developers and owners of multifamily rental properties to participate in a locally-created rental subsidy program. The local program will buy down rents at a market rate apartment property that is not subsidized or receiving tax credits. This will transform these designated units into affordable ones for households at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). If selected, an owner would receive funds from the VHA to offset the amount the project would require to reduce apartment rents to reach the affordable level.