Bend, Ore. – September 2, 2020: Headquartered in Chicago, The Renaissance Companies is a woman, family-owned, award-winning, national development company specializing in multi-family properties, fostering the creation of sustainable neighborhoods. With over 30 years of residential and commercial experience, The Renaissance Companies has developed more than $250,000,000 in luxury and affordable communities across the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. These communities include decaying urban neighborhoods where the developments have accelerated new beginnings.
We talked with Jeanmarie Kapp, Chief Operating Officer, to learn more about The Renaissance Companies and Hunter Renaissance Development LLC, their new Central Oregon venture.
EDCO: Tell us more about The Renaissance Companies including your mission and footprint?
Jeanmarie: Every one of our properties is different from its neighbor. Our prototype includes opportunity zone projects and additional locations that are having difficulty addressing their workforce housing needs. Each project we take on is a catalyst for growth – in design/style, in livability and in economics. With 80 employees and locations in three states (Illinois, North Dakota and Oregon), we specialize in senior and affordable housing using our vertically integrated management and development companies to bring projects from our initial vision to stabilized occupancy. By adding commercial and industrial spaces to our portfolio, our expanded capacity allows us to make larger and long-lasting impacts. Our current focus is twofold: workforce housing in smaller cities and luxury for-sale homes.
We’ve crafted a powerful development team that has enabled us to design and build townhome rentals at an under-market cost. We work closely with architects and contractors to design a product that efficiently uses our dollars and results in a high-level rental product. Our focus is people earning roughly 80-120% of the median income and it is our intent to stay under market in our rents and still deliver a product that is better than anything else in the area.
Every community is in need of quality upscale and affordable housing—along with the job creation of industrial and commercial zones—and we are actively creating developments in these sectors. The Opportunity Zones are a perfect match of course, as the legislation is intended to foster economic vitality in designated census tracts. The nature of this legislation’s minimum ten-year hold coincides with our intent to continue to provide workforce housing, as we will control the developments and keep the rents under market. Our approach is that investors in our Opportunity Zone deals can truly make a difference; their money brings satisfactory returns while at the same time having a significant social impact.
EDCO: What brought you to Central Oregon?
Jeanmarie: Seeking additional growth opportunities and communities in need, we began moving outside of Illinois in 2010 with historic preservation projects in the Quad Cities. We created independent living senior communities in two former 1890’s schools. We then moved to western North Dakota at the height of the oil boom, creating essential worker apartment units along with office and retail space. From here, we discovered that Central Oregon was in desperate need for workforce housing. A move further West was a natural progression. This is when we, The Renaissance Companies, joined forces with Hunter Investments LLC to create Hunter Renaissance Development LLC and HRCapital with a focus on growing neighborhoods in Central Oregon.
EDCO: How many employees are in Central Oregon?
Jeanmarie: Central Oregon has been experiencing and continues to see significant and sustained growth, driving the need for all levels of housing. Currently, we have 1.5 employees and an independent contractor on board. We project at least three to four more employee positions available over the next two years along with an expanding brokerage (independent contractor) operation. In addition, the projects combined have and will create upwards of 250 contracting jobs.
EDCO: Tell us about your Central Oregon Projects?
Jeanmarie: Our projects in Central Oregon are located in Sisters and Redmond.
The 27 Elm is our first Redmond townhome community, created to respond to middle-income earners looking for attractive, quality homes that feature high-end design and finishes. Located in northwest Redmond, this development consists of 58 rental units that are all currently occupied.
The 21 Canal is our second project in Redmond, and it is a part of the Opportunity Zone. It will be a nine-acre, 130-unit townhome and apartment campus in south Redmond that will feature a fenced dog park, shade pavilion, fire pit, pickleball courts, a bike path, and more. This project is expected to break ground by year-end with anticipated occupancy starting next fall.
Grand Peaks at Sisters is a 38 homesite luxury community with private parks—including pickleball courts—featuring mountain and rustic contemporary designs unlike anything in the area. Grand Peaks has seven floor plans beginning at $595,000, with stunning kitchen, bath, and great room spaces. One of our models won two awards in the 2020 COBA Tour of Homes: Best Feature (Butler Pantry) and Best Interior Finish. The development offers spectacular views of the Sisters and Cascades and is setting a new standard in Sisters.
EDCO: What is your niche?
Jeanmarie: Our niche is determining what discerning buyers and renters want and delivering more than they expect. At the same time, we set a high bar for our competition. For example, we know that many people find Sisters a desirable location and a growing number of them are seeking permanent homes. Our development offers more of what other developers charge extra for. There’s generally no need for upgrades in our homes, with the exception of outdoor living packages.
Jeanmarie: What contractors to you work with here in Central Oregon?
We work with Pacific Construction & Development as our exclusive builder partner. TJ Toney and Scott Wolf have assembled an exceptional team whose culture matches ours. They are in business to establish and serve client relationships. They want to grow with us and help us create the best in single- and multi-family developments.
EDCO: What are your future expansion plans in Central Oregon?
Jeanmarie: We’re conducting an equity raise for our Opportunity Zone project, The 21 Canal in Redmond. We are at 50% on a $10 million raise and are open to investor inquiries at HR Capital. We also have a 28-acre industrial parcel in a McMinnville Opportunity Zone where new space is in high demand. We’ve created build-to-suit parcels with potential building designs and are open to larger users.
EDCO: How do you support the community?
Jeanmarie: Currently, we are seeking a veteran or first responder individual or family who’s in need of an adaptive or accessible home. We are donating a lot at Grand Peaks in Sisters for this purpose and are working with our network to fundraise for the home build. We’re a proud annual sponsor of the Sisters Folk Festival. We support our local businesses and network with them to drive traffic.
EDCO: How has COVID 19 affected your business? How have you responded?
Jeanmarie: We shut down open houses for a couple of months. We proactively began them again earlier than other developments. We’ve seen a contraction in the number of people looking. The majority of people out now are actual buyers who have shorter timelines. We see people very motivated to leave dense urban areas and many are accelerating their relocation plans, bringing their move to Central Oregon forward months, if not years.
We’ve created an in-house task force of seven senior managers who’ve worked since the first week of March 2020 on assessing our issues and creating protocols and procedures for our properties, residents and our employees. We’ve managed to keep our teams and our residents safe, with only two residents of nearly 500 diagnosed as positive in a period of nearly five months. Our return-to-work protocols are strict and specific and have aided our team members to protect themselves as well as our residents and to know exactly what they need to do to get back to work.
EDCO: How do you think this has changed you for the future/forever vs just now? What have you learned?
Jeanmarie: We’ve confirmed the strength and resilience of our Renaissance team, and its ability to adapt, improvise and overcome any challenge while maintaining our exceptionally high standards. I’ve no doubt that we will continue this way, as we have for many years, keeping our residents’ needs aligned with our team’s needs and furthering our reputation for the best in affordable and market-rate housing.
EDCO: Why does The Renaissance Companies choose to support EDCO?
Jeanmarie: We have been members since 2017. We’ve found the business resources to be exceptional and the EDCO team to be very responsive to area newcomers. We’ve worked directly with Jon Stark, REDI Sr. Area Director and Caprielle Foote-Lewis, EDCO Sisters Area Director on multiple occasions, both of whom have provided excellent service. They’ve educated us on the Sisters and Redmond markets, offered networking assistance and have been available for questions as needed.
Contact information for Hunter Renaissance Development, LLC.:
Grand Peaks at Sisters – Open house: Sat/Sun 12-4pm and Tues/Thurs noon-3pm
The 27 Elm
The 21 Canal