Portland Pair Taps Thriving Employment Centers

Two new Portland-area apartment communities that broke ground last week are strategically sited to leverage burgeoning employment centers and heavily-used transportation hubs.

Portland, Ore.—Two new Portland-area apartment communities that broke ground last week are strategically sited to leverage burgeoning employment centers and heavily-used transportation hubs. Holland Partner Group of Vancouver, Wash., celebrated groundbreakings the same day at the 324-unit Brenchley Estates in Wilsonville, Ore., and 190-unit Living Green at Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Ore. In each case, Holland is developing, building and managing the property.

“We believe 80 percent of the value created in the next cycle will be generated in projects in high-barrier-to-entry urban cores, or directly in a transit link that serves an urban core or rapidly expanding job markets,” Holland Partner Group CEO and chairman Clyde Holland tells MHN.

“We only want to develop in high-barrier-to-entry, rapidly expanding job centers, such as Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver.”

Brenchley Estates is adjacent to the regional town center in Wilsonville, about 18 miles south of Portland. The town center is next to the I-5 corridor, and access points to and from that corridor. In addition, a bus stop at the development will allow residents to ride to the Wilsonville Transit Center, from which they can travel throughout Portland. “Brenchley Estates is perfectly sited for a two-wage-earner household in which one person works in Portland and the other in Salem,” Holland says.

Living Green at Orenco Station, located at the Orenco light rail station, provides residents multi-modal convenience, Holland says. Residents will be able to hop the train to downtown Hillsboro, downtown Portland, the east side job corridor or the airport. “In addition, the Intel shuttle stops at that station and can transport residents to any one of four Hillsboro-area Intel corporate campuses,” he adds.

Both projects also embrace a notably green orientation. Brenchley Estates is being developed on a site where 35 percent of the land will be preserved as permanent open space.

“We’re putting in efficient building types and services that are conservation oriented, and meet high standards for energy and resource conservation,” Holland says. “For instance, Brenchley will have a saline pool that uses salt water chlorination in place of chemicals.”

Living Green at Orenco Station lives up to its name in various ways, among them use of vertical green space on top of parking areas, permitting higher densities and giving residents a walkable alternative to public transportation, Holland says.

Both Brenchley Estates and Living Green at Orenco Station will deliver an array of top-notch lifestyle amenities. Each, for instance, will offer a recreation center and clubhouse, swimming pool, sports field and retail options.

Holland Partner Group is targeting two primary markets: downshifting baby boomers, and their ascendant Gen Y grandchildren. Baby boomers, Holland says, want to travel, but also want a residential link to their communities that allows flexibility and freedom from maintenance. “We also have units and product that meet the needs of Gen Y-ers who are young, mobile, professional and moving into high-tech jobs,” he adds. “They don’t want to own, because they don’t want a house they can’t sell to become a detriment to their careers.”

Holland is partnering with The Carlyle Group at Brenchley Estates, and with Mesirow Financial Institutional Real Estate’s Direct Investment Group at Living Green at Orenco Station. The site work for both projects commenced July 1, and Holland expects both to be complete by the end of the year, with first occupancies taking place next spring.

Perhaps the most significant common denominator between Brenchley Estates and Living Green at Orenco Station is how they fit into the overall residential scheme of things, according to Holland. “These new units meet the needs of today’s renters, allowing people to release the houses they currently own to new owners, and completing the natural lifecycle of housing stock.”