Michigan firm to build 640 apartments in Kennewick

KENNEWICK — More than 56 acres north of Interstate 82 near West Clearwater Avenue is destined to be covered with a new $30 million to $40 million apartment project.

A Michigan developer plans to start construction next year on the 640-apartment complex near the Badger Road interchange.

"This is a big deal for Kennewick," said Jeff Kossow, the city's director of economic development. "They came to us and they are looking for other opportunities."

Paul Mott, director of site acquisitions for Edward Rose and Sons in Farmington Hills, Mich., said Kennewick is the company's first venture in the western U.S.

The developer has built and manages 56,000 apartments in 13 states, mainly in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

Mott said that the Kennewick project, which will be built in stages, will have three-story apartment complexes, and amenities to enhance a village-like lifestyle, including pools and community centers. It will be designed to appeal to young professionals.

The decision to design an apartment complex for the up- and-coming generations following the baby boomers is intentional.

"Our approach is different from a lot of others. When we come into a community, we hire someone to do market research," Mott said.

The one- and two-bedroom units will be geared toward "upwardly mobile" singles and couples.

"We don't get a lot of families in our projects," Mott said.

Kossow said the Edward Rose company approached him asking about the community profile. And they came prepared to do business.

"They've got the money. What impressed me is they do quality buildings, and they want to own them. They aren't going to do shortcuts," Kossow said.

Mott said Edward Rose and Sons' approach is to invest in a community, not just build apartments and move on.

"There's a strong demand for the type of housing we're proposing, Mott said.

In fact, the apartment occupancy rate is 99 percent for Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, according to the Apartment Rental Survey by Kennewick's Crown Property Management.

The Tri-Cities currently has about 12,000 apartments.

Mott said they plan to start construction about a year from now, and the project will be done in phases over several years.

Edward Rose and Sons is a privately held real estate development and management company, founded in 1921.

It acts as general contractor during construction of its projects, and relies heavily on local markets for materials and labor, Mott said.

Mott said the company also has a multi-family project planned for Poulsbo.

It will be 540 units, including senior assisted-living units and mixed-use commercial.

"It reflects the confidence both industry and developers have in this community and this region to invest large sums of money for the future," said Mayor Steve Young.

"And it shows that more jobs are being created in light of the recent announcements about downsizing due to the end of stimulus (money)," he added.

John Trumbo: 582-1529; jtrumbo@tricityherald.com