By Jack Stubbs
The Kent Valley—which ranges from the city of Kent to Sumner further south, and includes cities like Auburn and Puyallup—has long been known as a hub for industrial and manufacturing activity, with several industrial assets have traded hands over the last few quarters, in transactions involving companies like LA-based Clarion Partners, Boston-based TA Realty and Denver, CO-based Black Creek Group.
However, as the wider Puget Sound region continues to expand, the spine of the Kent Valley—along with nearby cities like Federal Way and Tacoma—is steadily a focal point for increased activity on the multifamily side as well.
On August 27th, the 83-unit Bayview Apartments in Federal Way sold for $15.6 million, or about $187,951 per unit, with Kirkland, WA-based Weidner Apartment Homes purchasing the property from Redwood City, CA-based Bayview Associates LLC.
As part of two separate transactions that were recently recorded, two apartment properties in Auburn and Tacoma sold for a combined $11.4 million, King and Pierce County records show. In the firs transaction Seattle-based real estate investment firm The Neiders Company spent $7.5 million to acquire an apartment property in Auburn from Raymond and Jackeline Keasey based in Redmond.
Located at 3605 – 3611 Auburn Way S., the sale included three separate parcels—a multifamily complex referred to as the Forest View Apartments—which comprise a total of 53 units and sit on just under three acres, according to public documents. The average unit size at the property, which was constructed in 1967, is 627 square feet.
The property is roughly three miles southeast of Auburn and ten miles east of Federal Way via State Route 18. The apartment complex is also approximately fifteen miles northeast of Tacoma.
Founded in 1989, The Neiders Company owns and operates affordable apartment communities in the Pacific Northwest and Southern U.S., with additional markets under consideration, according to the company’s web site. Some of the company’s multifamily properties in the Puget Sound region include the Merry Bee Apartments and Garden Court Apartments located in Seattle, and the Veranda Green Apartments in Burien, with additional assets in SeaTac and Tukwila.
In the second transaction, the Canyon Ridge Apartments in Tacoma—located at 5211-5217 96th St. E.—sold for $3.9 million, according to Pierce County records. The buyer was Canyon Ridge Apts LLC, an entity which shares the same Seattle address as real estate investment firm Westlake Associates, and the seller was Canyon 3 LLC, an entity based in Tacoma.
Built in 1976, the Canyon Ridge Apartments is a two-story property that contains 36 units, according to the listing on apartments.com. The property offers a mix of one- and two-bedroom units that range from 600 to 755 square feet and rent for between $850 and $1,025. The units offer access to individual private balconies and reserved parking.
Some of Westlake Associates’ multifamily properties in Seattle include the 41-unit Mercer Apartments, Ravenna Terrace Apartments and Ninth Street Flats, which is located in Tacoma.
The Canyon Ridge Apartments is located just under ten miles south of downtown Tacoma, which is near local focal points like the Port of Tacoma and the Tacoma Mall.
The Seattle-Tacoma Area more generally has seen increased activity over the last several years, with growing interest on the retail side, in particular. The Seattle-Tacoma Area ended first quarter 2019 on a strong note, as nearly 155,000 new jobs were created over the last three years, pushing various metrics up including population, median household income gains, spending and retail sales, according to a second quarter 2019 Seattle-Tacoma Local Retail Report recently-released by Marcus&Millichap. It is expected that, combined with the increase in population, new inventory coming online will continue to drive low vacancy rates and increase investment activity. On the retail side, the Seattle-Tacoma metro had the highest number in the nation for rate of growth in retail sales, rising 10 percent in the last 12 months.