Berkshire Increases Bay Area Apartment Presence with New Acquisition

In response to the Bay Area's rental demand due to job growth, an affiliate of Berkshire Group has gotten on the bandwagon with the purchase of a Class A apartment community in Oakland.
901 Jefferson

An affiliate of the Berkshire Group has acquired 901 Jefferson, a 75-unit Class A apartment community located in Oakland, Calif., from Madison Park Financial.

The price of the sale was not disclosed.

“Berkshire Group’s investment philosophy is to focus on core, core-plus, value-add and development investment opportunities in major markets with expected strong underlying fundamentals,” Eric Schrumpf, Berkshire Group’s vice president, acquisitions, told Commercial Property Executive. “We believe 901 Jefferson fits this strategy well—it is a contemporary apartment community with modern fixtures and amenities in an area that we believe is undergoing a revitalization, with the area’s strong tech sector and relative affordability (compared with other Bay Area locations) expected to drive both population and employment growth.”

The community offers both one- and two-bedroom apartments, and unit interiors feature modern finishes such as hard stone countertops, stainless steel appliances, and in-unit laundry appliances. Resident-common spaces include a central courtyard with portable grills, as well as parking.

“Among our plans for 901 Jefferson, we expect to convert a vacant first floor retail space to a leasing office and also add a fitness center,” Schrumpf added. “We believe improved common areas should enable the asset to better compete with newer vintage assets in the market that have historically been able to offer a higher level of service to the residents of Downtown Oakland.”

Originally constructed in 2008, the building is located in the Historic Old Oakland part of Downtown and offers a live-work-play environment with access to public transit and major roadways, close by the Bay Area’s major employment centers.

The property is situated in close proximity to the Bay Area’s transit system, BART, as well as major roadways I-80 and I-580, offering access to San Francisco’s Downtown and Financial District areas, and the greater East Bay including Berkeley, Emeryville, and Walnut Creek.

According to Schrumpf, the company was seeing rental demand driven by job growth in the Bay Area, with both employers and residents opting for more affordable office and residential pricing in Oakland relative to San Francisco.

“Additionally, Downtown Oakland’s emerging restaurant and nightlife scene and access to local and regional public transit offer many of the urban amenities that residents are demanding, at a more affordable price point than other part of the Bay Area,” he concluded. “We believe 901 appeals to residents who desire living in a live-work-play environment undergoing revitalization, with access to public transit and major roadways that connect them to the Bay Area’s major employment centers.”

Berkshire Communities, the property management division of Berkshire Group, will manage the apartment community.