A mother-daughter property development team from Chicago is bullish on the Central Oregon rental market, despite hundreds of new units in the works for Bend and reports from property managers that rents have flattened.

Jeanmarie Kapp and her mother, Nancy Kapp, have been renovating, building and managing multifamily buildings in the Midwest for 25 years under The Renaissance Companies. Through a new partnership with Central Oregon businessman Neil Amondson, the Kapps are looking for more places they can build projects like The 27 Elm, which will be 36 townhouse units at 2650 NW Elm St. in northwest Redmond.

The name reflects the location at SW 27th and NW Elm streets, Jeanmarie Kapp said. Two of the buildings, a total of eight units, at The 27 Elm are occupied, and the remaining buildings are due to be completed this spring, summer and fall.

“Where we came from in Chicago, they’re overbuilt again,” Kapp said of the multifamily rental market. “Here, people are still looking for rental options.”

The 27 Elm has two-­bedroom and three-bedroom models with and without a one-car garage. Rents are $1,350 for a two-bedroom unit without garage, while a two-bedroom with a garage and the three-bedroom units rent for $1,550. Kapp said her company, Hunter Renaissance, conducted market research that showed rents at The 27 Elm are $100 per month to $200 per month lower than comparable properties.

Hunter Renaissance is trying to offer something different with quality interior finishes and contemporary styling, while keeping rents below the luxury level, Kapp said.

Other sources show that The 27 Elm is on the high end of the rental spectrum in Redmond. Rentometer.com, which the Central Oregon Rental Owners Association includes in its list of resources, says The 27 Elm’s starting rent is higher than most properties in a 2-mile radius.

Plus Property Management lists a three-bedroom townhouse with a garage on NW 25th Street in Redmond for $1,295 per month. That rent is the same as a year ago, property manager Mike Hoff said. “There was a definite slowdown in the market,” he said. “You don’t want to raise rents.”

Hoff said his company, which is based in Bend, noticed fewer applications last year for properties in all Central Oregon cities. Other property managers in Bend have cited the opening of new, large apartment complexes in Bend as creating more competition for renters.

The highest rents in Redmond appear to be in new construction. Mt. Bachelor Property Management recently leased a brand-new townhouse on SW 30th Street that was listed at $1,695 per month. The townhouse has three bedrooms, a two-car garage and, like The 27 Elm, accepts pets.

Jeanmarie Kapp, who moved to Terrebonne last fall, doubles as The 27 Elm’s leasing agent. A couple of tenants have come from the Seattle and Portland areas, but the majority were already living in Bend, Redmond or Prineville, she said. Some have been priced out of Bend, but others just want to be close to their jobs in Redmond or Prineville.

Kapp uses the term “workforce housing,” but she said of Redmond, “It’s not just blue-collar work.”

—Reporter: 541-617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com