Riaz Capital Receives Entitlements for Three Multifamily Projects in Oakland

Riaz Capital, Oakland, The Linden, 1035 Yerba Buena, 2432 Chestnut, 1925 Bush, ABD Ozone Fund
1035. Yerba Buena. Courtesy of Riaz Capital

Three properties will add 40 residences to company’s growing portfolio of affordable, entry-level housing 

OAKLAND, CALIF. – July 13, 2021 – Riaz Capital, a fully integrated development, construction and asset management company, has been granted entitlements for three Oakland multifamily projects as part of the company’s visionary Affordable by Design (ABD) portfolio, which combines micro-unit strategy and cycle-resistant investment to bringaffordable entry-level housing to the Bay Area.  

The entitlements were granted less than eight months after the ABD model was proven successful in the worst of economic conditions. The Linden, a 30-residence multifamily project at 1805 Linden Street in Oakland, was fully leased within a month of opening at the height of the pandemic. The three newly-entitled Oakland properties — 1035 Yerba Buena, 2432 Chestnut and 1925 Brush — will serve a similar demographic of renters with 40 units that are affordable for Bay Area professionals earning between $50,000 and $120,000.  

“The Linden’s rapid lease-up even as the pandemic challenged every real estate sector validated the ABD strategy’s ability to withstand economic turbulence. These entitlements add three more properties to our pipeline of projects under development that will also create alignment between investor returns and housing affordability in the Bay Area,” said Riaz Taplin, principal of Riaz Capital, a community-conscious company dedicated to creating flexible workforce housing for the Oakland community. 

The newly entitled properties expand a portfolio that currently comprises 1,500 residences under management and 1,700 more in development. Each project offers a cycle-resistant opportunity to invest in affordable housing in Oakland. Construction on the first of the recently-approved projects will begin in November with leasing expected to get underway in a year.  

Riaz Capital’s ABD strategy was created to provide entry-level housing for teachers, nurses, first responders and other professionals whose incomes make most Bay Area housing unaffordable. The strategy leverages massive demand among this group, while also optimizing investor returns and cushioning investments from unexpected market volatility such as those seen in 2001 and 2008.   

The Linden’s initial success during Covid-19 serves as a proof-point to both investors and tenants, and generated momentum for the three new projects that are now underway. These latest projects will further underscore the validity of the ABD concept.  

Each ABD project, many of which are funded by investors through the company’s ABD Ozone Fund, delivers smart, flexible urban housing solutions that combine stylish and efficient design elements to produce housing that is affordable and desirable for its target tenants. When combined with the company’s zero-displacement approach to housing development, the new housing stock is positioned to directly address Bay Area demand. 

There is an estimated 408,000-unit shortfall in housing considered affordable for the targeted group of renters in the Bay Area – demand that wouldn’t be met until the year 2500 at the current rate of construction – which means investors receive sustainable returns even during periods of economic turbulence.   

The fund currently supports the acquisition, design and eventual management of small-site developments that will provide new residences at average monthly rents below 30 percent of the area’s average monthly income. For example, The Linden, which is one of the three projects that received the entitlement, has an average rent of $1,868 per month.   

“Given the substantial demand that exists and the rules established under Opportunity Zone legislation, Ozone Fund investors’ principal will be protected during the 10-year life of their investment,” emphasized Taplin. “They will also see tangible proof that their investment is making a difference in the communities they are supporting.”  

Riaz Capital is committed to protecting the culture and history of local neighborhoods in and around Oakland. The company is headquartered in a 100-year-old former industrial site that it acquired in 2016 and which was later designated part of an opportunity zone. It is now known as Artthaus Studios, home to nearly 100 small businesses and start-ups. The community-conscious company works closely with local leaders and residents to ensure every project has a positive impact on stakeholders while delivering superior returns to investors.   

About Riaz Capital  

Riaz Capital is a fully integrated development, construction and property management company based in Oakland, California. Founded in 1977 as a design driven company, the firm is known for its urban revitalization projects, such as Artthaus Studios, that bring new life to each community. Today, the firm is focused on creating workforce housing for the Bay area that offers flexible, well designed living spaces. Currently, the company operates more than 1500 residential units and has another 1700 in development. Each of its buildings range in size from 6-127 units and provides commercial space for nearly 100 small businesses. 

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