By Jon Peterson
Dallas-based Mill Creek Residential Trust has paid $30 million to acquire the Acheson Commons development site in Berkeley. The site is located at the Northeast corner of Shattuck and University Avenue.
The seller of this site was Chicago-based Equity Residential Properties Trust. The public REIT did not respond to phone calls seeking comment for this story.
Mill Creek feels strongly that the apartment market in Berkeley is a sound investment given its geography, access to the rest of the region and general low supply of quality of housing. “They were really drawn by how vibrant Berkeley is. It’s an incredible dynamic city, and they’re excited to be part of the community. There is a tremendous need for housing in the city,” said Jason Overman, a spokesperson for Mill Creek Residential.
The development is entitled for a total of 205 units. The project is going through the plan check process and the pursuit of final permits. The development could kick off sometime between early to middle part of 2017.
Berkeley is an apartment market that is showing off very strong demographics. This area has high barriers to entry for new development and very strong rental demand. These factors have kept vacancy low and now lead to strong rental rate growth over the past few years.
Mill Creek Residential owns a significant number of assets in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company currently owns, manages, or is under construction/development on nine properties in the greater Bay Area comprising 1,600 apartment units and 50,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. These properties are located in downtown San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Walnut Creek. All of the properties are transit-oriented developments with many of them being of the mixed-use variety.