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Public-Private Partnership Pays $304M For East Bay Apartment Complex, Plans Workforce Housing Conversion

Wood Creek Apartments

After selling for $304M at the end of 2021, a 484-unit East Bay apartment complex is slated to be converted into housing for middle-income renters. 

Opportunity Housing Group and the California Statewide Communities Development Authority acquired the Wood Creek Apartments in Pleasant Hill from Chicago-based Equity Residential, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The deal works out to about $628K per unit. 

Danville-based OHG, an affiliate of developer Blake Griggs Properties, has frequently partnered with the CSCDA for the acquisition of statewide market-rate apartments, which are then converted into workforce housing, or housing for renters typically making 60% to 120% of the area median income. 

That encompasses about 30% of the workforce population in the Bay Area, or 1.5 million people, OHG President Lauren Seaver previously told Bisnow

The units at Wood Creek will be split and reserved evenly for residents making 80%, 100% and 120% of the AMI. The complex was more than 95% occupied at the time of sale; existing residents will be able to continue to rent units at market rate. 

The program, introduced by the CSCDA in 2020, seeks to circumvent the housing funding and entitlements process by partnering with local project sponsors like OHG. The program has acquired nearly 6,000 units to date, most of which are in Southern California. 

The Wood Creek transaction was the sixth between OHG and the CSCDA in 2021 and is the program’s largest to date, Seaver told the S.F. Business Times. 

The East Bay deal trails an acquisition by OHG and the CSCDA in December for a 200-unit apartment property in Fairfield. That deal totaled $83.5M, or $417,500 per unit. 

“Providing high-quality housing at reasonable rents is one of the biggest challenges facing the Golden State today,” Seaver said in a statement announcing the deal. “OHG is proud to work with CSCDA and California cities to deliver this scarce resource.”