The Highline Apartments Change Hands, Acquired by Colorado Buyer

Brinkman Real Estate, a Colorado-based multifamily investment company with expertise in Intermountain West markets, closed today on the acquisition of The Highline Apartments in Columbia Falls, Mont. This purchase marks their third acquisition in Montana and one of their largest to date with 180 Class A units across six buildings. The company also owns properties in Billings and Missoula.

Brinkman Real Estate’s capital markets team, in partnership with CBRE’s Institutional Debt and Restructured Finance team comprised of Brady O’Donnell, Jeff Halsey, Jill Haug, and Alex Scott led the financing execution for this asset. The team secured financing with Fannie Mae and, through active asset management throughout the due diligence process, were able to maximize proceeds and position the asset for success.

Brinkman Real Estate identified Columbia Falls as a market with strong fundamentals for real estate investment due to its proximity to Kalispell and Whitefish, accessibility to Glacier National Park, and recent population growth. This fits the mold of the high-growth Intermountain West markets the company is after. Their acquisitions strategy follows migration trends into markets experiencing outsized population and job growth trajectories compared to nationwide statistics. With the post-COVID remote work trend, these such markets are becoming increasingly desirable for new residents and a reliably strong investment option, despite current economic challenges.

“This market has everything we want to see when purchasing a multifamily property,” reported Partner and Chief Acquisitions Officer Brett Silverstein. “There’s consistent movement into the area, lack of new development, and ever-increasing home prices leading to a significant rent-to-own discount.”

Additionally, job growth in recent years has been promising. Flathead County gained more jobs than any other county in Montana. It’s low unemployment rate sits at 2.7%, the lowest rate ever recorded in the state and 30% lower than the national rate​. Healthcare is a large portion of employment and the work from anywhere trend has brought business professionals, tech start-ups, and entrepreneurs to the area, connecting Columbia Falls to the modern landscape and bringing in jobs with higher salaries than historical trends.

“Regardless of the market cycle, multifamily is one of the best investments out there,” said Brinkman Real Estate’s Founder and CEO, Kevin Brinkman. “We’re steady in our focus on identifying high-quality assets in markets where people want to live.”

The Highline Apartments were built in 2020 and include quartz countertops, vinyl plank flooring, and stainless-steel appliances, requiring little in the way of capital expenditures in the short term. Brinkman’s business plan for the assets involves resident-centric improvements including improved landscaping, adding smart home packages and laundry to all units, enhancing monument signage, and adding amenities including a grill station area.

At the time of closing, the community was 98% occupied.