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California-based apartment developer buys Tacoma’s Chelsea Heights and might soon own Albers Mill

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on May 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm with No Comments »
May 28, 2013 3:25 pm
Chelsea Heights, on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Fawcett. Photo by Peter Haley / Staff photographer
Chelsea Heights, on the corner of Sixth Avenue and J Street. Photo by Peter Haley / Staff photographer

A California-based apartment developer has bought Chelsea Heights in Tacoma, has an offer in on Albers Mill and its eyes on other properties in the city.

ColRich, headquartered in San Diego, bought Chelsea Heights for $18.8 million earlier this month, two years after a Seattle-based company snapped it up for $15 million after a bank foreclosed on the Prium subsidiary that owned it. (You remember Prium, right?)

Jim Jensen of Hendricks-Berkadia, who brokered the deal, told me this afternoon that news of State Farm’s plans to expand to downtown Tacoma helped seal the deal for ColRich.

“This type of investor wasn’t coming down to Tacoma,” Jensen said, “but through our relationship, we got them down here and toured them, and what really helped them was the State Farm news. Once they found out that would happen, they decided to move forward.”

A representative from ColRich couldn’t be reached for comment this afternoon.

Amazon’s plans for DuPont and the return of soldiers to Joint Base Lewis McChord all helps add to the attraction of investing in multi-family housing in Pierce County, Jensen said.

Albers Mill, on Site 2 of the Foss Waterway. Photo by Drew Perine/The News Tribune
Albers Mill, on Site 2 of the Foss Waterway. Photo by Drew Perine/The News Tribune

Chelsea Heights, on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Fawcett J Street, has 78 units atop ground floor commercial space, which was designed for retail but currently is leased to MultiCare Health System for office space. Albers Mill, on the Foss Waterway, went through its own difficult ownership transition.

If ColRich moves forward with the Albers Mill purchase, it will be soon, Jensen said. Otherwise his firm will market it nationally.

Hendricks-Berkadia, which was Hendricks & Partners until a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought it earlier this year, also has the listings for Village at Seeley Lake and Stoney Creek apartments in Lakewood. They are owned by Equity Residential, and the listing is the largest Equity has given to any firm, Jensen said.

Hendricks-Berkadia has had 21 tours of the the Equity properties, Jensen said, with teams representing investors from places across the country.

“We’re seeing a lot of capital that’s not come to Tacoma before,” he said.

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