BMC invests in Aurora workforce housing

Denver-based BMC Investments paid $31.5 million, or $111,702 per unit, for Vista Park, a 282-unit, value-add asset.

An Aurora apartment community that went from boarded up, stripped of its copper and selling for a little more than $13,000 per unit in 2010 was a sought-after workforce housing asset that recently traded for more than $111,000 per unit.

Denver-based BMC Investments paid $31.5 million, or $111,702 per unit, for Vista Park, a 282-unit, value-add asset at 12707 E. Mississippi Ave.

“The sale speaks to the evolution of some of Denver’s submarkets and where the multifamily market has gone,” said ARA Newmark’s Terrance Hunt, noting that while Aurora has a large concentration of jobs – from Amazon to the airport to Fitzsimons to Majestic Commercenter – it proportionally has less supply. “It’s become one of the stronger markets in terms of rental housing and when people are seeking affordable rent, Aurora is a pretty attractive place to be.”

“We saw a tremendous amount of interest in this asset due to its proximity to light rail, retail, employment and schools. As rents continue to rise in urban areas in Denver, evolving markets, like Aurora, are garnering more attention from investors,” added ARA Newmark’s Shane Ozment. “BMC has been one of the most active buyers of ‘70s product in Aurora.”

Hunt and Ozment handled the sale of the 1973 community, which sold for $17.2 million in 2014 and $3.75 million in 2010, according to public records.

While it has come a long way from being boarded up and stripped, Vista Park has significant upside potential, noted Hunt. Around 60 percent of the apartments have undergone light renovations, including vinyl plank flooring, new cabinets and new plumbing hardware. Additionally, select units feature walk-in closets and dishwashers.

Vista Park also includes a swimming pool, courtyard, fitness center, on-site laundry and business center. It is located 2 miles from the Aurora Metro Center Station on the Interstate 225 light-rail line and near the Gardens on Havana Shopping Center and Aurora City Place.

With its close proximity to the light rail, growing employment centers such as Fitzsimons Medical Campus, as well as retail and entertainment, Vista Park is an ideal asset for long-term ownership, BMC said of the property. It plans to invest in deferred maintenance and improve the overall appeal of Vista Park. Its property management affiliate, BLDG Management, has taken over operations of the community.

With Vista Park, BMC/ BLDG now owns and/or operates nearly 2,400 units in Aurora.

Featured in CREJ’s April 4-17, 2018, issue

Jennifer Hayes has been an editor with the CREJ since 2000. Jennifer covers multifamily and retail news in the Denver metro area plus all property types in Colorado Springs and Southern Colorado. She also covers the finance market as well as solicits bylines articles and is editor of the Health Care Properties Quarterly. Before joining the Colorado Real Estate Journal, Jennifer served as the assistant sports information director at Texas A&M-Commerce. She earned her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Colorado and a master's degree in education from A&M-Commerce. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and son, learning the ways of being a hockey mom, sports, reading and baking.