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Investors bet $26M on Monroe apartments

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By Kurt Batdorf
HBJ Editor
Published: Monday, June 3, 2013, 2:57 p.m.
EVERETT — Coast Equity Partners sees a bright future in Monroe with its May 29 purchase of the 222-unit Morning Run Apartments for $26.4 million.
“We’ve been looking at Monroe for four years now,” Hoban told The Herald Business Journal. “The big change is the (Washington State Department of Transportation’s) Highway 522 expansion that will boost commuters’ confidence” to get to jobs in Bothell and the Eastside.
“The city has a higher than average household income to support retail, its political leadership is pro-jobs, and residents can commute to major employment centers in 20 minutes,” partnership principal Josh Jansen said of Monroe.
Hoban compared Monroe to the thriving Eastside suburb Issaquah of 20 years ago.
“Monroe situates very similarly, but with a stronger local employment story and better commuter lines,” he said. “Once U.S. 2 gets the business loop to fix the traffic chokepoint through downtown, Monroe may become one of the best places to live and work in the region.”
Morning Run was built in 1991. Its 21 buildings sit on 10.41 acres just southeast of the intersection of Highway 522 and U.S. 2. Snohomish County property records show a previous sale on Sept. 22, 2005, when Crown Capital Properties sold the complex to Essex Morning Run Apartments LP for $19.6 million.
The Snohomish County Assessor’s Office valued Morning Run Apartments at $18,981,000 for 2013.
Jansen has lived in Monroe for almost 10 years and used his local knowledge of the community to sway his partners to pursue the purchase. That gave them more reason “to believe in the community,” Hoban said.
The sale represents the third-largest apartment acquisition in Snohomish County this year. The 524-unit Northcreek complex in Bothell sold on Feb. 20 for $88 million, or $167,939 per unit. On the Green at Harbour Pointe in Mukilteo sold for $49.6 million on May 9, or $168,537 for each of its 294 units.
The partners — Jansen, Rossi, Hoban, his brother and company co-founder Shawn Hoban and Coast Equity Partners president Mike Harmon — paid $118,919 per unit to get Morning Run Apartments.
“Morning Run was the only property we were interested in,” Tom Hoban said. “When it went on the market, there were a dozen different buyers. We paid exactly what we wanted to pay.”
This marks the fifth acquisition of a sizable apartment community for Coast Equity Partners since two-time Republican gubernatorial candidate and former state Sen. Dino Rossi joined the firm in 2009, said Hoban, CEO of Coast Group of Companies and its commercial real estate brokerage, Coast|Sperry Van Ness in Everett.
Since 2009, the group has acquired apartment properties in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Arlington and Bellingham.
“We have a big appetite for apartment product in the suburban markets,” Harmon said.
“Monroe is the largest complex we’ve bought, at 222 units, but only by a little bit,” Jansen said.
“We’ve retained nearly all of the staff working at Morning Run who wanted to stay on,” Harmon said.
Coast Equity Partners now owns more than 20 income properties throughout the Pacific Northwest with an approximate market value of $180 million, Hoban said. Syndicate investors have backgrounds in business, professional sports and other endeavors.
Coast Equity Partners is part of the Coast Group of Companies. Hoban said its property management arm manages more than $1 billion of office, apartment, retail and medical-dental buildings for investors, nonprofits, hospitals, housing authorities and other entities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Its brokerage group, Coast|Sperry Van Ness, is one of the largest independent commercial brokerage firms north of Seattle.
Kurt Batdorf: 425-339-3102; kbatdorf@heraldnet.com.

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