The Linden is the first project in a visionary strategy to deliver both affordability and investor returns in high-priced bay area housing market.
OAKLAND, CALIF. – December 1, 2020 – Riaz Capital, a fully integrated development, construction and property management company, has opened and is nearing capacity at the first property in 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 Linden, a 30-unit multifamily project at 1805 Linden Street in Oakland, surpassed 90-percent leased within 30 days of opening and is now 97-percent leased. It is the first complex to open in a 1,200-unit pipeline of cycle-resistant apartment investments planned in the East Oakland Opportunity Zone.
It is the inaugural development in Riaz Capital’s ABD strategy, which was created to provide entry-level housing for teachers, nurses, first responders and other Bay Area professionals earning between $50,000 and $120,000. The strategy optimizes investor returns and cushions investments from unexpected market volatility such as those seen in 2001 and 2008.
A test case for Riaz Capital’s ABD Ozone Fund (Ozone), which was quietly launched in 2019 and publicly announced earlier this year just as the first U.S. cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed, The Linden’s initial success during Covid-19 serves as a proof-point for the carefully-crafted ABD strategy.
“The challenges resulting from Covid-19 have served as the ultimate test of the ABD concept. We asked investors to believe in a strategy that would create a property type that merges cycle-resilient investment and small-format, student and workforce housing. The proof is that we’re stabilized in less than a month and eager to complete more,” said Riaz Taplin, principal of Riaz Capital.
Each Ozone-funded project delivers smart, flexible urban housing solutions that combine stylish and efficient design elements to make housing affordable and desirable for its target tenant. When combined with the company’s zero-displacement approach to housing development, the new housing stock is positioned to directly address Bay Area demand. With a more than 408,000-unit shortfall in available housing for this target group of renters in the Bay Area – demand that wouldn’t be reached until the year 2500 at the current rate of construction – investors receive sustainable returns even during periods of economic turbulence.
The fund currently supports the acquisition, design and eventual management of more than 1,200 housing units. These small-site developments will provide new residences to an estimated 2,161 Oaklanders at average monthly rents below 30 percent of average monthly income in the area. The Linden’s average rent is $1,868.
“The ABD model’s customers are teachers, nurses, first-responders and other single-income professionals who lack housing that fits their income,” Taplin said. “The size of this group, particularly in the current environment, is increasing and proving an opportunity for investors to realize profits while protecting local neighborhoods in and around Oakland.”
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. They will also see tangible proof that their investment is making a difference in the communities they are supporting. The Ozone Fund is open until December 31, 2020.
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 was acquired in 2016 and 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 owns more than 1300 residential units with buildings ranging in size from 6-127 units and provides commercial space for nearly 100 small businesses.