April 28, 2012

BMR Coming to Menlo Park?

Some cities are more compliant than others in providing BMR (Below Market Rate) housing.  Perhaps Menlo Park will be getting off the “But we don’t have any below market residents” excuse pot.

Menlo Park eyes below-market rental housing

HIP Housing proposes deal with Menlo Park

120426-willow-pierceby Sandy Brundage, Almanac Staff

The city of Menlo Park has its eye on a Willow Road apartment complex that might be purchased for use as below-market-rate rental housing — something that currently doesn’t exist in Menlo Park.

The 12-unit complex, located at 1157-1161 Willow Road, comes with a price tag of around $2 million, according to a representative from HIP Housing, a nonprofit organization that specializes in finding below-market-rate housing and hopes to partner with Menlo Park on the deal.HIP currently operates 13 rental properties in San Mateo County.

120426-willow-backThe Willow Road complex would rent nine units to people earning less than 50 percent of the regional median income of $81,300, and three units to those making less than 30 percent. Rent at the complex would fall in the range of $610 to $1,016, according to a staff presentation.

A real estate listing described the property as vacant and partially renovated; it also said the complex had won a renewable energy award for upgrades such as solar panels and efficient lighting. Laundry and parking are available on site.

The apartment buildings are not currently for sale (the first is pending, the second is merely delisted).  They were built in 1958.  If you want to dig deep into the offering memorandum for the two buildings, have a look at this PDF.  And check out the pictures.  Solar panels!  Sweet!


Assuming the rental numbers are correct, that would give this complex a rent ratio of 10.26.  BUY!!!!!!!!  Then again, I’m not sure I trust these numbers.  Notice something hinky here?


While Burbed has yet to amass a huge portfolio of investment property, even we can tell the difference between a 5 and a 50% vacancy rate.  This is another great reminder of how Real Estate Professionals deserve those hefty commissions, whether commercial or residential.

Discuss this neighborhood, older apartment homes like these, BMR housing, any Open Houses you visited, or anything else you can think of. Yes, this is your weekend open thread.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

9 Responses to “BMR Coming to Menlo Park?”

  1. sprezzatura Says:

    That is some seriously depressing housing.

    There’s places like that in most Peninsula towns, though, if you look closely enough. Just 2 blocks from the Palo Alto Four Seasons, for example, there’s rental housing chock-full of Latino families paying low rates for their apartments.

  2. SEA Says:

    RBA property is the best investment, and a 100% vacancy does not change that fact. Rent is very expensive, and the monthly rent is simply free cash for the landlord.

  3. herpderp Says:

    Looks just like the shithole I lived in on California near Rengstorff in Mountain View.

  4. PK Says:

    Ooh, open thread! Can we discuss:

    This house?

  5. nomadic Says:

    That is awesome, PK! More deserving of a mid-week feature than casual weekend scorn.

    For convenience, here’s the one next door:

  6. SEA Says:

    Can we count a sale as $1.3M in overbidding?

  7. sprezzatura Says:

    I must be dumb … they’re trying to sell two houses so that you can evict the tenants, tear them down and build 5 townhouses in their place? For some ridiculous multiple of what the houses are actually worth?

    Good luck with that. Although perhaps I don’t understand Big Boy Real Estate Development well enough and this is actually quite a deal.

  8. madhaus Says:

    Yeah, PK, thanks so much for sharing it with everyone here instead of wasting it on a front page article.

  9. PK Says:

    No reason we can’t implement a gag order and discuss it Wednesday, right?

    No more discussing!

Leave a Reply

Please be nice. No name calling, no personal attacks, no racist stuff, no baiting, etc. Let's be nice to each other in the true Bay Area spirit! (Comments may be edited/removed without notice.)