Kennedy Wilson Acquires Fourth Seattle-Area Property

Kennedy Wilson Multi-family Management Group has brought its total ownership in the greater Seattle market to 1,735 units with the acquisition of the 300-unit James Street Crossing from Equity Residential for about $36 million.All together, counting the James Street Crossing, the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company, a subsidiary of Kennedy Wilson, now holds roughly $275 million in four multi-family assets in the market, which it entered only in late 2006.According to the company, its interest in owning apartments near Puget Sound stems from the area’s strong fundamentals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 51,000 new jobs were created in the region in 2007, with an estimated 34,000 to be added this year. Many of these jobs will be offered by technology companies, who tend to hire ayounger workforce– people more likely to be in the market for rental housing.”It’s all about jobs,” Edward Ring, senior managing director of Kennedy Wilson Multi-family Management Group told CPN this afternoon. “The number and kind of new jobs in the Seattle area is going to drive demand for apartments for years to come, and we plan to own a total of at least 2,500 units in the market by the end of this year.” Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Services , in its most recent report on the metro Seattle apartment market, noted that developers are responding to demand for apartments there. Some 3,500 new units will come on line in 2008, compared to 2,500 in 2007, resulting in a slight uptick in vacancies by the end of this year (4.9 percent, up 30 basis points from the end of 2007). Still, Marcus & Millichap is predicting that effective average rents will increase 6 percent in the market this year, to $1,009 per month.The James Street Crossing properties consists of 22 buildings on 21 acres in the suburb of Kent, which is between Seattle and Tacoma. Kennedy Wilson plans to spent about $3.8 million to renovate the property (pictured), which was originally built in 1989.