By Marc Stiles – Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal
For the second time in four months North Carolina-based Bell Partners Inc., bought a large apartment property in Redmond, and the deal looks similar to the company's first Seattle-area acquisition.
Bell paid Trammell Crow Residential $91.6 million for the new 222-unit property at 6335 180th Place NE. That's four miles northeast of another new property that Bell bought for $96 million in September. The most recent acquisition has been renamed Bell Marymoor Park, and it's 94 percent leased, according to Bell. The company said market-rate units are renting for about $2.75 per square foot.
Bell is among investors banking heavily on the Seattle-area apartment market. Rise Properties Trust spent about $588 million last year buying nine apartment properties in the region, where rents are rising thanks to continued growth of tech companies. Amazon is entering Redmond, joining Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
While still going up, Redmond's rent growth has weakened due to a significant boost in new inventory.
After increasing 3.9 percent between and third quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, Redmond's rent growth slowed to about 0.7 percent from March to September 2019, according to Commercial Analytics, a Seattle company that tracks the multifamily market. During those six months, rents increased nearly 1.5 percent across the Eastside and about 1.2 percent in Seattle.
Commercial Analytics reported that Redmond added 1,281 new apartment units over the last two years, with another 2,120 under construction. King County has added more than 14,000 units since 2018, and 13,380 new units are being built this year.
Bell Executive Vice President of Investments Nickolay Bochilo said the Eastside, with its high-quality schools, rapidly expanding tech companies, high cost of buying versus renting and "differentiated lifestyle amenities" support attractive fundamentals for rental housing.