Security addressed, rents increased at Alturas Apartments, formerly The Heights


Print This Post  Email This Post

IMG_4095

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 1.01.19 PM

by Jack Mayne

Rents have already gone up at Burien’s huge, newly-renamed Alturas apartment complex, and rental costs will increase again when some upgrades are finished, said the new manager of the facility in a recent interview.

Fowler Property Acquisitions (FPA), of San Francisco, bought “The Heights at Burien” for $51.5 million just days after it purchased a smaller complex 15 miles to the south in Federal Way for $46 million. The new name – Alturas – means “heights” in Spanish.

Concerns of criminal activity have been addressed by the new management and by Burien Police.

Rents to increase again
The complex has 544 apartments and was at 95 percent occupancy with an unspecified number of actual residents, but there are about two residents per home on average, said Georgia Trent, the new senior property manager and area property manager for Fowler Property Acquisitions.

All of the units have been renovated and some work is ongoing to bring units up to Fowler’s current standards, she said. The apartments all have new cabinetry in the kitchens and were done by the previous owners. Fowler Property Acquisitions plans some upgrades to the property, including fencing some parts of the huge complex.

When asked about those who say large companies like Fowler immediately increase the rents, Trent said this is the plan.

“We already have (had increases) and without any improvements,” she said. “That is what you do when you spend that kind of money and are not looking just to maintain it. You’re looking to improve it, collect the dividends – part of the business plan.”

Rents would go up again once they make more renovations.

Fowler paid $51.5 million for the complex and “we didn’t spend all this money to just let it go downhill,” she said.

Trent said the company was “real proud to become part of Burien,” adding Fowler also owns the Raleigh Apartment Homes at 12415 Ambaum Blvd. SW as well as the Montrose Apartment Homes at 220 South 152nd Street. Trent is the property manager in Burien and oversees all three facilities as senior property manager and area property manager for Fowler Property Acquisitions.

Trent said Alturas’ one-bedroom units start at $1,030 and the three bedrooms at $1,450.

When asked if the rental increase forced anyone out, she said that sort of thing was “happening throughout Washington” and such forces are making people move to “other areas.”

Current rental increases in Seattle are expected to send people moving southward to lesser expensive areas.

911CallsTheHeights16

Burien Police chart shows 911 calls and serious crimes at the then-Heights at Burien. Click image to see larger version.

Crime problems addressed
Many Burien observers believe there has been a lot of criminal activity associated with the complex, but Trent said her company would not tolerate such problems, and Burien Police are optimistic.

“We have Courtesy Patrol here on site all night until 6 a.m.,” said Trent. “We have also been hiring the off-duty police officers – when they get off shift they actually are in here. Additionally, we are trying to offer up a home to a police officer who would (live here). We would just give them one so we have a presence of an officer on site.”

Burien Police Captain Bryan Howard told The B-Town Blog that the Alturas is retaining A-1 Burns Security and Courtesy Patrol of Tukwila, the same company used by the previous owners of the complex.

“They know the residents and they are a good company and they work well with us … they always give us a call if they have a call to the complex,” Howard said, adding the security company tells the Alturas management if a person was arrested and where the person resided in the complex.

“In my meetings with Georgia (Trent), she made it very clear that her company doesn’t tolerate any kinds of criminal activity and I agree that we would share with them, since they are the landlord, any information about crime on their property … not every call, because that would be a lot, but I would say significant arrests,” Howard said in a telephone interview.

Howard said that shortly after the Fowler company took over he told manager Trent about an arrest “around 9:30 in the morning and they had served the unit with an eviction notice by Noon,” adding the matter involved a weapon so it fell into an emergency three-day eviction category avoiding the normal longer processes.

“The important thing is that we have established two-way communication with them.”

He said he was impressed with the Alturas background check process and “they are pouring a ton of money into the complex to bring it up to their standards.”

They are going to fence much of the complex because of some trespass problems from non-residents from nearby public establishments, he said.

Howard said a recent shooting incident – where shots were fired – involved people at a nearby convenience store who came onto the property to talk, argue and perhaps do illegal drug sales, which are close to impossible to regulate even if police are called, but such interactions take very little time.

“We don’t necessarily have gang members on the property (but some) are coming in,” said property manager Trent, adding police have told her than people not actually living there caused the problems on the property.

She said they are working to ensure that residents are abiding to the rules.

“If there is a violation with illegal activity, we are giving three days notices” to move out of the premises “or we begin the eviction process.” Trent added the process works and “we’ve already done that with one. When there is illegal activity we definitely have those rights. It is just in their best interest for them to vacate, otherwise they have an eviction on their records and good luck renting after that.”

Alturas at Burien is located at 1101 SW 139th Street:

Print This Post  Email This Post

Comments

16 Responses to “Security addressed, rents increased at Alturas Apartments, formerly The Heights”
  1. Mimi says:

    I mean, it didn’t seem like it could get any worse, so hopefully this is a good start.

    It is a shame about rents being raised – I would imagine that only people who couldn’t afford to go anywhere else would have been willing to stay in that environment. Business is business, I suppose.

  2. Eric says:

    If they don’t think there are gang members living at the apartments I have a real bargain on some swampland for them……

  3. Burien Human says:

    12 people living in a 3 bedroom, 1450/12 = 121 a month. Not too shabby.
    The American Dream.

  4. Maenad says:

    No one there is living 12 to an apartment. They are just too small for that, and current management has already investigated any complaints of that many people in a unit. I was at the same community meeting “Burien Human” was and repeating hearsay does not make it true. 12 people in a 2 bedroom is hardly the American Dream. I’m sure there are plenty of residents in the complex that are happy that security concerns are being addressed.
    It would be nice if some in our community would stop vilifying the poor.

  5. Xan says:

    Good luck to the new management! High rent, high crime rate, people will be moving out in droves. Building a fence to protect the residents from people getting in? You must be kidding, that place has always been a source of crime in Burien, I feel so sorry for honest, good people that don’t have much of a choice than to live there. Mr. Manager, put Burien PD number on speed dial, you’re gonna need it, a lot!

  6. Ben H. says:

    So they buy it, rename it in Spanish, then price out the actual Spanish speaking tenants without making any improvements. Absentee landlords at their finest, another glorious victory as capitalism further displaced the working poor. Which is fine because it happens all over Washington.

  7. sallie tierney says:

    I lived in the complex for years when it was Seahurst Village. Loved my roomy, comfortable apartment. The complex has lots of history and character – and I hope they can turn things around. But I won’t hold my breath. It takes time – and more than a name change and change of ownership to reverse such a long decline.

  8. Pat C says:

    This is a joke. These people are making superficial ugly paint jobs in Halloween colors around building entrances that were just painted last year and calling it an upgrade and justifying rent increases!! . They are not addressing the rot underneath. These improvements will not enhance anybody’s time spent at the complex. Many current renters are on fixed incomes and will be priced out of King County due to the new owners unlimited greed and focus on profits instead of people. People on relatively fixed incomes cannot afford the increased charges they are doling out. They are forcing current renters to take out liability insurance and adding on new charges for things these people can’t afford. Their own greed will make them fail and of course they will blame the tenants or crime or some other scapegoat. They are the worst example of capitalistic greed, at the expense of the poor.

    • Jimmy says:

      Well Pat c renters insurance is always a good idea. Because you never know what could happen living in apartment or renting a house here is a link explaining renters insurance. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renters%27_insurance

      Then the painting there is a primer paint called kils that can help get rid of mold and mildew. Then you can also spray the mold with a mix of bleach and water to kill the mold. Before painting. Now without sitting and watching the painters doing there job it can be hard to tell if they used these methods or not.

      Now for the increase in rent for people on a fix income receiving assistance from the state or federal government to pay there rent. Will still pay same amount do to laws in place.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Jimmy, your writing style has really changed. Why?

        • Jimmy says:

          I don’t know I haven’t really notice but now looking a little closer there been a few little changes. I have tried to use the autocorrect on my tablet a little more. Instead of using my computer that could be part of it.

          With this recent post I know from helping tear a part a old bathroom in my house that had mold issues. I lern how to stop the mold from growing and help to kill it off.

          Then I have also been trying to post more links explaining the situation instead of trying to explain it my self.

          When I post a reply that might get a bad reaction I stay away from viewing the replys to keep my self from getting upset or starting argument. That leads to non sense bickering

          • Elizabeth says:

            Well, I just appreciate all the punctuation, spacing, etc. Now I get what you are trying to say. I don’t always agree but I will read it to the end now. And I agree, the non sense bickering isn’t worth it.

  9. JP says:

    I love all the well thought out anti capitalist remarks about raising rents.

    So let’s see – what should have happened was…..

    Buy the dump
    Fix it up
    Keep the rents the same

    Because you would have taken that deal right?

    To the new owners – THANK YOU – for fixing what you could, kicking out the criminals, partnering with law enforcement, and investing in Burien. Hopefully, the socialist idiots who post that garbage will follow your criminal former tenants right out of town.

    To the law abiding residents – THANK YOU – for sticking it out, I hope they make it a nicer place to live for you.

  10. Don T. says:

    Burien & White Center should have way higher rents, comparable with West Seattle, when you consider it’s proximity to downtown Seattle and Puget Sound.

    Time to raise rents in the south end & force the losers out further to Kent & Federal Way and improve Burien & White Center’s crime rate.

    So sick of socialists trying to control a free market economy with their tired programs that help illegals, drug dealers and addicts and forget about hard working CITIZENS who want to live in a decent neighborhood.

  11. julie h says:

    I am a resident, and low income. My husband and I are disabled and taking no government money. We are going to be priced out of the property a 200.00 increase in one month is unlawful in Seattle. The improvements that new management speaks of where all done by previous management, who frankly had been more responsive than current management is. People are moving out and I dont see a rush of people moving in. I would check in with them in a few months when people renew their leases and see what happens.

  12. Don T. says:

    That’s the whole point…get the low income folks out, so higher income people will want to move in.

    This needs to happen all over Burien & White Center, because the proximity to downtown Seattle jobs is just too valuable to keep these rents down forever.

    There are plenty of cheap apartments in Kent & Federal Way for low income people with no jobs to move to.

    Capitalism at it’s finest.

Share Your Opinion

By participating in our online comment system, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of our comment policy.

...and oh, if you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!