JRK Buys 714-Unit M-F Property in Tacoma for $65M

JRK Investors has snapped up Tacoma, Washington's largest apartment property, the 714-unit The Westridges, in a transaction valued at $64.5 million.

The  WestridgesJRK Investors has snapped up Tacoma, Washington’s largest apartment property, the 714-unit The Westridges, in a transaction valued at $64.5 million. Commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle’s Capital Markets marketed the asset on behalf of the seller. JLL is not at liberty to disclose the identity of the seller, but the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s office is free to do so; it was ERP Operating L.P., or Equity Residential, that previously owned the asset.

Size matters and Westridges’ reputation extends beyond Tacoma. The 62-building property also holds the distinction of being the largest apartment community in Pierce County and the fourth largest in the Puget Sound region.

“Interest level [in Westridges] was high and there was a fairly diverse group of interested parties, especially folks who saw it as a value-add play,” Seth Heikkila, a senior vice president with JLL, told Commercial Property Executive. “Certain investors are looking for yield–now moving from core markets to secondary and tertiary markets, such as Pierce County.”

Developed between 1987 and 1991, the complex occupies 37 acres at 2602 Westridge Ave. West in the University Place submarket, just outside of downtown Tacoma and approximately 40 miles south of Seattle. The sprawling rental destination is presently 95 percent occupied, which dovetails with the current state of the greater Seattle multi-family sector. Demand for apartments is pushing up prices; annual rent growth in the Seattle-Tacoma market was 6 percent in the second quarter, marking the fourth largest increase in the country, according to MPF Research

Demand in Tacoma is strong and by all accounts, it is likely to remain so. Employment has more than a little to do with it. “In Pierce County, especially Tacoma, State Farm is opening up a new office at the former home of Russell Investments in the downtown area [and] when that’s fully up and running, that’ll be 2,000 employees downtown,” Heikkila said. “Also, Amazon.com opened up a new distribution center in Dupont, not too far from University Place. That’s a million-square-foot distribution center. The Port of Tacoma had one of its best years on record as well.”