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Developers claim co-living suites earn more per square foot than regular apartment rentals

Co-living developers in New York and Washington, D.C. report strong demand from renters.

Hundreds of co-living suites are renting quickly at ALTA LIC, a new high-rise apartment building in Long Island City, Queens.

“We are now about four months ahead of our expected pace,” says Christopher Bledsoe, co-founder and CEO of Ollie, the company managing the ALTA’s co-living apartments.

Companies like Ollie are proving that there is plenty of renter demand for co-living arrangements. The co-living spaces at ALTA are now earning more dollars per sq. ft. than the new conventional apartments in the same building. Other operators of co-living properties also report strong results at their projects.

“We can only speak to performance of our OSLO properties… and they have been exceptional,” says Martin Ditto, CEO of Ditto, a company that operates three fully-occupied co-living properties in the Washington, D.C. metro area, and is now planning to open a fourth.

Strong rents prove demand for co-living

“Co-living” is a living arrangement in which the residents share some aspects of their living spaces with each other. It’s not as radical as it sounds—for Ollie and Ditto’s OLSO brand, co-living typically takes the form of multi-bedroom apartments shared by roommates. For years, the student housing industry has also been building suites that students share as roommates.

“Our product type is a natural evolution of the student housing model,” says Ollie’s Bledsoe.

ALTA LIC opened in May 2018 with 466 apartments. Of those, Ollie is operating 169 as furnished co-living suites with a total of 422 bedrooms. According to Bledsoe, it’s the largest purpose-built co-living property in the United States.

After less than a year in operation, 73 percent of these units are occupied, with renters paying from $1,260 to about $2,200 per month for a bedroom. The higher priced units may be larger, have better view, private entrances off the hallway or their own, un-shared bathrooms.

The cost of a bedroom also includes wireless Internet service and weekly housekeeping services, including bed linen, towels and toilet paper, along with shampoo and hand soap from Malin & Goetz. “It is the convenience of hotel living,” says Bledsoe.

The units are sized for efficiency and come furnished with custom furniture designed by Ollie to make the best use of small spaces. “For us a 535-square-foot studio is a two-bedroom micro-suit… a 750-square-foot one or two-bedroom is a three-bedroom suite,” says Bledsoe.

These co-living suites earn an average of 44 percent more income in rent per sq. ft. than the more conventional 297 luxury apartments at the 43-story tower, according to Bledsoe. The net operating income from these units is also 30 percent higher per sq. ft., even with the extra cost of co-living amenities like the housekeeping service.

 

Read more at National Real Estate Investor

Fremont City Council balks at stronger renter protections, opts for ‘minor tweaks’ to rent review law

Majority of council feels one-year old rent review program is doing well.

In the first year of Fremont’s rent review program, nearly half of those who sought help with rent increases saw them lowered, but some renters and city council members still don’t think the program goes far enough to help tenants.

The update on the program was presented by staff at the recent Fremont City Council meeting, where the council subsequently voted to make some minor tweaks to its rent review ordinance, but backed off of strengthening discrimination and retaliation protections for renters.

Councilwoman Jenny Kassan and Councilman Vinnie Bacon said they would have preferred to beef up those protections, and look at adopting rent control in the city, but the other five members of the council chose the status quo.

The city’s review ordinance is intended to help landlords and renters mediate disputes over rent increases. The council adopted the ordinance in fall 2017, and the program went into effect in 2018.

 

Read more at East Bay Times

 

 

Lucca Ravioli building asks $1.45M

Famed Valencia Street cornerstone for sale in triple-building package.

The building that for nearly a century housed Lucca Ravioli Company on Valencia Street is, as anticipated, up for sale. It’s part of a three-building package along with the two related buildings, all stuffed with a price tag of more than $8.28 million.

According to to the official history of Lucca Ravioli, the Italian goods store opened its 1100 Valencia Street locale in 1925 (18 years younger than the circa-1907 building it occupies), a family owned-institution that has endured through booms, busts, world wars, depressions, and the ever-changing character of the Mission District.

But as Eater SF reported in January, the neighborhood received shocking news that Lucca Ravioli will sell its last batch of tagliarini on April 20.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, no one will take over the family business once 50-year proprietor Michael Feno retires. The sale of the off-the-market building will certainly finance quite a retirement in today’s market.

1100-1118 Valencia St. is presented for sale by Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California. Click here for more details on this listing.

 

Read more at Curbed SF

 

 

 

Multifamily owners jump in the short-term rental game

When Harold Wu moved from Toronto to Baltimore for a new job, the first thing on his to-do list was to get a place to live.

As he embarked on his apartment search, the T Rowe Price senior vice president of procurement decided to book a hotel in Baltimore for a week in September.

“I looked at the usual suspects: Hilton, Marriott, Brookshire Suites, Residence Inn and so on. Then I stumbled upon WhyHotel on the internet.”

WhyHotel operates temporary hotels within multifamily buildings during a lease-up phase of a new apartment building.

Wu liked the idea of having a place with a full kitchen for the week as a home base. He never thought he’d actually end up living in that very apartment complex.

His weeklong experience at 225 Calvert ended up being the ultimate try-before-you-buy. As he looked around at other apartments — he shopped 36 in total — he found himself appreciating his temporary digs more and more. He liked the amenities, the closet space, the lockers for packages and the security. The ultimate test was of the soundproofing, and it passed.

“I wanted to see if this was a cheap renovation. You don’t hear your neighbor.”

The short-term stay aspect of the property made him nervous at first.

“Frankly, I was concerned that they had a hotel on multiple floors. I didn’t want to have a transient population walking around in my building if I were living there.”

But he has embraced it. He ended up signing a lease for a one-bedroom instead of two — he no longer has to host guests, as he has a hotel directly in his building now.

Other than seeing people with luggage around the elevator banks, Wu said he barely notices his short-term neighbors. Other apartment dwellers haven’t reported the same experiences, citing disturbances and crowded amenity spaces with the temporary guests.

Short-term rentals may not be widely accepted as a viable long-term option for a multifamily owner. Subleasing is generally not accepted, and short-term visitors can be disruptive to residents and create potential liability issues, market experts say.

 

Read more at Bisnow

 

 

NAI Northern California ranks in Top 5 San Francisco commercial real estate brokerages with revenue up 18% entering 2019

Leader in Bay Area multifamily, retail, and office investment sales and leasing transactions owes continued expansion to its team of talented people

Fast-forward from its 2004 debut on the San Francisco Bay Area real estate scene, NAI Northern California has grown in transaction volume to the 5th largest commercial real estate brokerage in San Francisco and 6th largest in the East Bay according to the San Francisco Business Times. With a major specialization in investment property sales and corporate leasing transactions, the company was up 18% in total revenue from the previous year.

“We are proud to have evolved into one the top brokerages that Bay Area investors turn to when it comes to representation of their multifamily, retail, office, industrial, and land assets,” says President James Kilpatrick.

He points out, “The secret to our success is that we invest in talented real estate professionals who provide amazing service on transactions and offer deep expertise on Northern California submarkets and far beyond. We bring together a group of people as diverse as the Bay Area itself, and we value what all these different experiences bring to serving our clients. Our company culture is really big on professional development and empowerment, from our interactive sales training workshops to our technology platform that encourages a high level of collaboration.”

At NAI Northern California’s recent 2019 Kick-Off Event hosted in downtown Oakland, James Kilpatrick and Brett Stratton led the team in celebrating great momentum. For the third year in a row, the spot of company-wide Top Producer was earned by Shivu Srinivasan, who leads one of the most successful teams in East Bay multifamily sales. Other top producers in the 2018 NAI Northern California President’s Club, include Kent Mitchell, Doug Sharpe, Ethan Berger, Tim Warren, Joel Calvillo, Mary Alam, Grant Chappell, Kevin Flaherty, Rudas Gebregiorges, and Joby Tapia.

“2018 was a great year for NAI Northern California, and we are excited to be celebrating with all our top agents in Las Vegas this spring for our Top Producers Retreat,” says James Kilpatrick. “Our San Francisco and East Bay teams are solid, and as the year unfolds NAI Northern California is ramping up an expanded presence to serve our clients in the South Bay Area.”

 

Jordan Geller and J.B. Williamson on SFGate: Want to be the owner of Lucca Ravioli Co.?

Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California represent the sale of  1100-1118 Valencia Street. They recently talked to SFGate.com on the sale of the iconic Lucca Ravioli location: “The family will of course review offers with the hope to find buyers who will respect the current feeling and history of the property….”

After nearly a century, San Francisco’s well-loved Lucca’s Ravioli Company on a busy Valencia Street corner will close, and the property–all total, three buildings–is for sale at $8.285 million.

….

Lucca’s is a San Francisco institution…Michael Feno has made the store part of his daily life for over 50 years.

….

After trying to figure out a way to keep the business in the family, Feno has decided, with mixed emotions, to put the storefront and adjacent company-owned buildings up for sale.

….

The Lucca’s storefront and mixed-use structure is only one part of this package. Also for sale are associated buildings at 1102-1110 and 1114-1118 Valencia Street.

These buildings were formerly part of the Lucca Ravioli Company’s production and operations. Now, they could be just about anything: This portion of Mission District land is zoned as NCT, which stands for Neighborhood Commercial Transit district zoning.

….

Listing agents Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams indicated that Lucca’s last day of operation will be Easter of this year.

It’s hard not to want to know now what will become of the store, but Michael Feno doesn’t want to control its future. “The family will of course review offers with the hope to find buyers who will respect the current feeling and history of the property,” Geller told SFGate. “But he has no plans to limit or put conditions on the sale.”

Perhaps after almost 100 years, the family feels, finally, ready to let go.

1100-1118 Valencia St. is presented for sale by Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California. Click here for more details on this listing.

Read the full article on SFGate.com

 

Lucca Ravioli Co. slated to close as old San Francisco family divests its real estate holdings

Pair of buildings that host beloved deli, seven housing units, readying for sale.

“It’s very important that the marketing photos make the units look good,” tenants told in letter.

The building on the corner of 22nd and Valencia Streets that houses Lucca Ravioli Co., the last commercial outpost of the Feno family, which has done business in San Francisco for nearly 100 years, appears to be readying for sale.

No, not the parking lot next door that already sold for around $3 million in October — the actual building where the ravioli magic has happened since 1925.

That’s not all: The six-unit apartment building next door at 1102-1106 Valencia, which the Feno family also owns, is apparently up for sale, too.

Residential tenants of both buildings received a letter in mid-December stating that representatives of the commercial real-estate firm NAI Northern California — along with Lucca’s owner, Michael Feno — would walk through their apartments for inspections and photos. Their places, the letter said, must be “clean without personal belongings strewn about.”

“These are marketing photos,” the letter reads. “It’s very important that the marketing photos make the units look good.”

The letter adds: “To help incentivize the tenants, we would like to offer those that do a gift-card.”

Of course, this raises questions over whether these tenants will be shooed out of their places to raise the value of the buildings. Tenants, who declined to be interviewed for this piece, are discussing their options.

A Lucca employee confirmed that the deli will close in spring 2019.

1100-1118 Valencia St. is presented for sale by Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California. Click here for more details on this listing.

Read more at Mission Local

 

Landlord-tenant relationships are changing, thanks to cryptocurrencies, Airbnb, and more

New challenges facing landlords in 2019.

This could be a great time to be a landlord.

The real-estate market still only has enough supply for half the population. We’re still seeing high divorce rates, so people need more places to live. And households are still being created faster than the housing supply. All that combined means higher rents and that trend looks likely to continue for a long time.

In fact, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, rising rates on 30-year mortgages — now firmly above 5% and on track to reach 5.8% by the end of the year — will help to drive rents higher in the coming year as more people get priced out of home buying by these higher interest rates. According to an analysis by Zillow, rent growth will pick up in 2019 as the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates.

For landlords, this is all very good news. And, given the evolution that the real-estate market has gone through over the last couple of decades — expanding to include short-term rentals, absentee owners, do-it-yourself property managers and more — the future looks bright for all involved.

Read more at MarketWatch 

 

Oakland may scrap owner-occupied rent control exemption

City Council will vote next month whether to allow rent control for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes.

An exemption to the city’s rent control and tenant protection laws for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes could get scrapped this year.

Currently, landlords who live in duplexes and triplexes and rent out the other units are exempt from rent control, as well as the tenant protection ordinance, which provides a procedure for tenants or the city attorney to sue landlords who harass them or fail to maintain the building.

Last week, city council members Dan Kalb and Noel Gallo introduced an ordinance that would remove the exemption. The ordinance will be presented at the Jan. 29 Community and Economic Development Committee, and the City Council is scheduled to vote on it the following Tuesday.

“The key here is we’re trying to make all of our rent laws consistent with each other and cover the same types of units,” Kalb said in an interview. “This is an effort to conform with Measure Y that was passed by voters last year.”

Measure Y removed the exemption from Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes. That ordinance prohibits landlords from evicting tenants without a legitimate reason.

When proposing the ballot measure, Kalb and Gallo noted that if it passed, they intended to introduce a parallel ordinance to remove the exemptions from rent control and tenant protection laws for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes.

Kalb said he looked at other cities’ rent control laws and found that some had the exemption and some didn’t.

The ordinance is among the first tenants’ rights ordinances to be voted on by Oakland’s new City Council — three of the eight incumbent council members have been replaced. The new council members are Nikki Fortunato Bas, who represents District 2; Loren Taylor, who represents District 6; and Sheng Thao, who represents District 4.

 

 

Read more at the East Bay Times

 

 

Housing proposed above S.F. firehouse

The city is preparing to sell off its fire station in Jackson Square to a residential developer, but it won’t be at a fire-sale price.

Fire Station No. 13 at 530 Sansome St. is zoned for a 200-foot tower and is expected to fetch upward of $20 million. Proceeds from the sale will pay for a new firehouse on the same location, topped with luxury housing.

Whatever money is left after construction will be used to develop affordable housing at 772 Pacific Ave., a city-owned property that is home to the New Asia restaurant in nearby Chinatown. The $10 million in affordable housing fees the firehouse project is expected to generate will also be spent on the 80-unit Pacific Avenue development, which will also include a new dim sum banquet hall on the lower levels.

On Wednesday, the brokerage firm Colliers International will begin soliciting offers from builders interested in acquiring and developing the roughly 9,000-square-foot property in Jackson Square, one of San Francisco’s most historic and sought-after neighborhoods. About 100 family-sized units would be built above a new 22,000-square-foot fire station, a mix of uses that has been successfully combined in projects in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Wilmington, Del.

The firehouse would have to be temporarily relocated while the new building is constructed. The fire station is 45 years old.

Read more at San Francisco Chronicle