Spokane Journal of Business

K&H at home with HUD-subsidized senior market

Property manager helps nonprofit housing owners fulfill mission

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-—Staff photo by Mike McLean
Lorraine Brooks, Kiemle & Hagood Co.'s multifamily housing director, says the company manages more than 800 residential units in the Spokane area.

Spokane-based Kiemle & Hagood Co. oversees 10 senior apartment complexes in the Spokane area with a total of more than 800 residential units, with more to come on line this year, says Lorraine Brooks, the company's multifamily-housing director.

Kiemle & Hagood, a prominent commercial real estate brokerage and property management company here, also manages more than 100 senior rental units in five complexes in other Inland Northwest communities, including in Moses Lake, Colfax, and Walla Walla, Wash., and Lewiston, Idaho, Brooks says.

Some or all of the units in each of the apartment developments are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for lower-income residents, she says.

The senior rental properties here range in size from the 24-unit Friendship Gardens complex, at 2201 E. Fifth, in Spokane's East Central neighborhood, to the 184-unit Park Tower Apartments, at 217 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. downtown.

All are independent-living facilities managed for nonprofit owners such as St. John's Properties, of Spokane, which owns the 124-unit Canterbury Court Apartments, at 1010 S. Rockwood Blvd., and the 118-unit Winchester Court complex, at 4101 N. Cook.

"We're helping owners fulfill their mission to provide affordable housing for seniors," Brooks says. "We feel everyone should have access to safe, affordable housing."

In many cases, residents pay 30 percent of their income and HUD provides the difference between that and market rental rates.

Brooks, who has a bachelor's degree in organizational management and an associate degree in accounting, has been with Kiemle & Hagood for 15 years and has been director of multifamily housing for the company since 2004.

She says her multifamily-housing position also fulfills an interest she has in social work.

"It has all come together," she says of her work.

While managing, leasing, and selling commercial real estate is Kiemle & Hagood's primary business, multifamily housing is a sizable component of the company's management portfolio, Brooks says, adding that the senior-housing properties make up the majority of the multifamily properties that the company manages.

"A lot of people are surprised," she says. "They don't think of Kiemle and Hagood as being involved with affordable housing like that."

Kiemle & Hagood also has developed some senior-housing projects inside and outside of the Spokane area, including the 59-unit Manito Garden Apartments, at 500 E. 29th, which is owned by Manito Presbyterian Homes.

In addition to heading up the company's multifamily housing division, Brooks also is the lead property manager for some of the individual senior-housing properties, for which she handles operating budgets, oversees staff directly, and handles resident screening and compliance issues.

Brooks says larger properties generally are easier to manage because they have the most consistent cash flow, although residents at larger properties sometimes don't know each other as well as residents in smaller properties know each other.

"Each property has its own personality as far as residents and staff go," she says. "I do get to know some of the residents. It's been fun to see people over the years, especially the ones who've stayed at properties quite a while."

Kiemle & Hagood's multifamily-housing division has grown dramatically while Brooks has been with the company.

Most recently, the company took over management responsibilities at Park Tower Apartments, which is owned by Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, of Spokane.

Kiemle & Hagood will manage two new senior housing projects that are expected to come on line this year.

One is Appleway Court II, a 24-unit senior housing project, at 9706 E. Appleway, in Spokane Valley. Spokane United Methodist Homes, doing business as Rockwood Retirement Communities, owns the project, which is being developed by Spokane-based Community Frameworks. Kop Construction Co., of Spokane, is the contractor on the $6 million project, and ZBA Architecture PS, also of Spokane, designed it. On an adjacent parcel of land, Kiemle & Hagood also manages Appleway Court I, a 36-unit senior apartment complex that opened in 2009 and also is owned by Rockwood Retirement Communities.

The other new complex that Kiemle & Hagood will manage, and which will open to residents this year, is the 13-unit Desoto Apartments, a disabled-seniors project in Walla Walla that Blue Mountain Action Council Inc., of Walla Walla, is developing.

Brooks says Kiemle & Hagood's multifamily division employs more than 70 people. A dozen work in the corporate office on the fourth floor of the Chase Financial Center, at 601 W. Main, downtown.

"Out in the field, we have 60-plus employees," she says. "They are the ones who deal on a daily basis with residents."

Field employees show apartments, collect rents, and handle lease-compliance situations with residents.

Kiemle & Hagood's multifamily housing division also has senior services coordinators to help residents remain in their homes.

"Our goal is for seniors to age in place," Brooks says, adding that for most senior residents, the apartments will be their last home. "We hope to improve their quality of life there."

For instance, many senior properties provide computer centers and training to help residents go on line.

"It helps seniors stay connected with family members or learn all the things they can do online," she says of the training.

Other features at many of the Kiemle & Hagood-managed sites include scheduled activities, beauty salons, and community rooms.

Kiemle & Hagood negotiates a percentage of the rents with each property owner, similar to management agreements it has with owners of conventional multifamily properties, Brooks says.

Managing HUD-subsidized properties, however, requires a lot more paperwork than managing market-rate properties, Brooks says.

HUD requires periodic contract updates with project owners for funding renewal, she says.

Residents have to qualify and determine their portion of the rent. K&H also has to calculate interim rents for residents whose income changes during the year, and subsequent annual rents.

"Sometimes I get bogged down with paperwork," Brooks says.

Kiemle & Hagood's multifamily division also manages other properties that receive HUD subsidies, including four low-income multifamily facilities that range from 40 to 99 units. Other, smaller properties under Kiemle & Hagood's multifamily management include properties reserved for mentally ill, disabled, or HIV-positive residents.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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