Jul 12, 2017
Meet April Atkinson, executive vice president, USA Properties Fund Inc.
Oct 19, 2016, 6:55am PDT
Ben van der Meer Staff WriterSacramento Business Journal
Roseville-based USA Properties Fund Inc. is best known as an affordable housing builder. But with the overall multifamily market on fire, the company is moving back into market-rate projects as well. The company hired April Atkinson in August to oversee its property management operations. She had a similar role during her 16 years at Irvine Co., a real estate development firm based in Newport Beach.
What’s your assessment of the situation in multifamily as you come on board?
“I’m definitely learning a lot. I come from a market-rate developer, and I’m learning what the core is here. I’ve been very impressed. What I see so far here is that the market is strong, rents are strong, and definite demand for new development has appeared.”
What do you see as the biggest hurdle to ramping up new multifamily development?
“Some of the hurdles are just moving through the challenges in cities. Getting through those hurdles, I know you have to have relationships with the right people.”
What about funding and financing projects?
“I think the concern for most developers is that interest rates are low, but there’s been some tightening, so that’s a challenge.”
As a company, what goals are you trying to hit?
“Our core will remain senior and affordable housing. Market-rate housing will continue to grow, and I think we’d like to grow in all those areas through both acquisition and development.”
In the immediate future, what does your company have on tap?
“Our project Landing at College Square in South Sacramento should be ready for move-in by mid-October. Leasing that up will definitely be a focus through the fall. Beyond that, I definitely have a lot (of information) to gather right now. I spend a lot of time out at properties we have, and I’ve been really impressed with the team and also the services they provide on-site for residents.”
How can we build more affordable housing, which everyone acknowledges is needed?
“In many of my meetings while I was with Irvine in the Bay Area, that topic came up. There needs to be more focus on how to allow developers to do that work. Do I have the answer? Not today, but I’m going to join organizations here to learn more and participate in that discussion.
“The other concern is that in five or 10 years, there are going to be programs for funding that are ending at the state level. That’s going to be a challenge.”
Education: MBA, Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management
Professional: Worked at the Irvine Co. from 2000-2016. Her roles included general manager, regional manager, senior director and vice president of community management.
Personal:“I have been married for 25 years and have three children, ages 24, 21 and 11. We recently sold our home in Los Gatos and will be moving our family to Granite Bay.”
Something colleagues would be surprised to learn about you:“I am addicted to HGTV and enjoy remodeling.”