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Equity Cleans Up Crime

National Multifamily

We talked to Equity Residential First VP John Hyjer before he left for a wine-filled Fourth of July weekend at his Russian River cabin, giving us quite the update on Equity's 1,800-unit Woodland Park Apartments. When Equity bought the then-blighted East Palo Alto complex in 2011, 110 units were totally uninhabitable. Some $8.6M in upgrades later (adding 90 parking spots was the most recent), the property has gone from mid-80% occupancy to 96%. Upgrades to cabinetry, appliances, flooring, and landscaping have also gone a long way. East Palo Alto council member Larry Moody says the area is now on a totally different level, with crime down about 80%. Before, you wouldn't see strollers, says John; now kids run around the property.

Larry, Equity NorCal managing director Chris Peter, East Palo Also Mayor Laura Martinez, and John unveiled the two $600k parking garages last week. (Don't cut that ribbon! You can put it on top of the cars and make a Christmas commercial.) Equity has one 550-unit Silicon project under construction, Tasman, which will rise next to its 444-unit Domain project in North San Jose. It's delivering in a submarket that continues to have an imbalanced supply-demand chain, he says, despite some 3,000 units delivering there this year. He thanks the influx of jobs tied to social marketing (the "cover companies," or the Facebooks, Googles, and Apples).