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. [caption id="attachment_97725" align="aligncenter" width="490"]911CallsTheHeights16 Burien Police chart shows 911 calls and serious crimes at the then-Heights at Burien. Click image to see larger version.[/caption] 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: ]]>