Violent downtown protesters are beginning to make their mark on apartment operations in Portland.
Wood Partners has one community two blocks from the main protesting area near a federal building and its Managing Director Steve Hallsey says many of the homeless who had lived in that area have relocated to his apartment buildings neighborhood.
“We are seeing more bottles and needles,” Hallsey says. “We’re not seeing violence near our property. But no one at this point is approaching our building’s front-door area. We’ve really ramped up our security with more personnel and a greater camera presence. These protesters are taking the attitude of ‘Let’s torch new construction.’ ”
Wood Partners lost an apartment building in Oakland to fire a few years ago. “It sure had all the signs of arson,” Hallsey says. “We have to be cautious; it’s very worrisome.”
Hallsey has three other apartment buildings under construction in downtown Portland.
He says incidents of residents moving out of urban apartment communities in markets that are seeing rising downtown protests and violence are mostly anecdotal at this point.
“Are they leaving because of what seems like an unsafe environment?” Hallsey says. “It sure seems that way. When you look at the increase in available studio apartments in some of our communities, you can see how some young professionals might be thinking, ‘This is not for me’ and they look to move out.”