News release

JLL Capital Markets and Public Institutions arranges $24.8M in financing from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund for affordable housing in Puget Sound

Loan will help nonprofit Bellwether Housing acquire and preserve The BLVD and Marina Club Apartments to help stabilize rents for moderate- to low-income famlies  

October 19, 2021

Cierra Lacasse

Capital Markets PR
+ 1602 648 8701

SEATTLE, Oct. 19, 2021 – JLL Capital Markets and Public Institutions announced today that it has arranged $24.8 million in financing for the acquisition and rehabilitation of The BLVD and Marina Club Apartments, two garden-style, multi-housing communities totaling 213 units in Kent and Des Moines, Washington. The new owner, Bellwether Housing, is converting 100 percent of its units affordable to households making 60 to 80 percent of the area’s median income levels to address the growing need for affordable housing in the Seattle MSA.

JLL worked with Amazon to secure the $15.56 million and $9.24 million, 20-year, fixed-rate loans for the owner, Bellwether Housing. Through the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, Amazon provided low-rate subordinate financing to effectuate the acquisition and rehabilitation of the properties. The loan assures that the properties will receive substantial renovations for long-term, high-quality housing and restricted rents.

The BLVD comprises 136 units in a mix of studio-, one- and two-bedroom units averaging 786 square feet. Marina Club Apartments comprises 77 units in a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 580 to 1,013 square feet. Units feature dishwashers, garbage disposals, fireplaces, window coverings, in-unit washer and dryers and private patio or balconies. The communities offer a swimming pool and spa, sundeck, clubhouse, fitness center, playground, business center and covered parking.

Located at 2136 South 272nd St. and 2445 South 222nd St., the properties are in in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metro area, in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, approximately 18 miles from both Seattle and Tacoma. The BLVD is proximate to the Sounder Train station, which provides quick, convenient access to the region’s employment and entertainment hubs. Marina Club Apartments is near Interstate 5, State Route 167, METRO, LINK and the Puget Sounder offering access to the Seattle-Tacoma area.

“We are so pleased to be a part of the solution by addressing the affordable housing shortage,” said Catherine Buell, Director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “By teaming up with organizations such as JLL and Bellwether Housing, we are able to help grow the housing stock for households making moderate- to low-incomes. These households may include teachers, transit workers and firefighters -- people whose jobs may pay a modest income, but whose contributions are invaluable.”

According to JLL’s August 2021 workforce housing research, workforce housing products have experienced growing demand in recent years as rents continue to climb nationwide. This demand has been exacerbated by a construction pipeline that is dominated by high-quality mid- and high-rise assets, and an inventory often considered unaffordable to residents earning the local median household income. Therefore, demand for existing workforce housing has led to declining vacancy rates and rising rents. Lackluster wage growth and accelerating housing costs further underscore the rising demand for workforce housing.

Bellwether’s CEO, Susan Boyd, explained, “Our goal has been to preserve as much affordability in King County as we can before it’s too late.  Public funding sources are severely constrained and have not prioritized this kind of strategy. As we were preparing our hunt for low-cost capital, Amazon announced its Fund. We anticipate this tool will allow us to bring hundreds more units into permanent affordability and prevent hundreds of lower income families from being displaced from their homes.”

The advisory team working with Amazon was jointly led by Senior Managing Director C.W. Early of JLL Capital Markets Debt Advisory and Martine Combal, Senior Vice President of JLL Public Institutions. This unique partnership between JLL Capital Markets and Public Institutions demonstrates JLL’s drive to deliver for its clients and meet dynamic and evolving real estate needs.

The Amazon Housing Equity Fund is a $2 billion commitment to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable housing units in Washington State’s Puget Sound region; in and around Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee—three hometown communities where the company expects to have a growing presence in the coming years. The Amazon Housing Equity Fund increases housing options for moderate-to-low-income families by providing affordable housing providers with quick access to low-rate loans to create or preserve buildings where affordability would have otherwise been lost to commercial-rate developers. The fund will also provide an additional $125 million in cash grants to businesses, nonprofits, and minority-led organizations to help them build a more inclusive solution to the affordable housing crisis, which disproportionately affects communities of color.

“JLL assisted Amazon as their credit underwriter for transactions in the Puget Sound,” said Early. “JLL is so excited and humbled to be involved in such an amazing program. Amazon has created a platform to preserve, create and improve projects all while adding very long-term affordability to a market that is sorely in need due to rising rents and high demand.”

“JLL endeavors to serve our clients and facilitate a broad set of mission-focused real estate needs,” added Combal. “This comprehensive partnership has drawn on a range of skills to uniquely deliver for our client and community.”

JLL Capital Markets is a full-service global provider of capital solutions for real estate investors and occupiers. The firm's in-depth local market and global investor knowledge delivers the best-in-class solutions for clients — whether investment sales and advisory, debt advisory, equity advisory or a recapitalization. The firm has more than 3,000 Capital Markets specialists worldwide with offices in nearly 50 countries.

JLL is the premier provider of strategic real estate advisory for local, state, national and federal governments as well as public and higher education institutions. Its national team covers the entire real estate lifecycle from strategy, public private partnerships, facilities management and sustainability services to transaction and project management. JLL brings both the experience and expertise to convert real estate portfolios into working assets that meet operational and occupancy requirements while generating revenues and reducing costs. Visit us.jll.com/government.

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About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion in 2020, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 92,000 as of June 30, 2021. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.

About Bellwether Housing 

Bellwether Housing is the largest private, nonprofit affordable housing provider in Seattle. Bellwether has developed and operated housing for low-income individuals, families, seniors and households transitioning out of homelessness since 1980. We currently serve over 3500 residents in 2,100 apartments and intend to serve 4600 residents in 47 buildings by 2025.