California homebuilder New Home Co. has started developing suburban housing on Portland's Westside.
The Portland metro remains an attractive expansion point for big-name homebuilders and investors looking to get in on the region's attractive fundamentals: a constrained housing supply paired with easy access to outdoor amenities. Multinational real estate firm Hines entered the Portland area market in 2021, but plans to buy existing housing for now instead of building more, citing the high cost of development at present.
Irvine, California-based New Home tapped longtime industry professional Fred Gast to lead its first Pacific Northwest division. He's not to be confused with his father, also Fred Gast, the architect who cofounded Seattle and Portland architecture firm SRG Partnership in 1972 with Jon Schleuning and Dave Richen. ("He still works every day," the younger Gast said, but "he's not affiliated with SRG anymore.")
The younger Gast is credited with developing "four master-planned communities and thousands of homes" in his more than 20 years in the business, according to New Home. He was principal partner and division president for Oregon at Polygon Northwest, until William Lyon Homes acquired that company in 2014. He stayed on as the division boss for another three years.
New Home characterized its new division as an expansion into Oregon, but it's starting with housing developments in Tigard (Axiom at River Terrace) and Beaverton (The Vineyard at Cooper Mountain). Townhomes will start in the low $400,000s, while single-family homes will start in the high $500,000s.
Gast said, "There is a shortage of housing, and it's not just one type. We need to have various types of housing. There's a market for all of them. And it's up to us as the entrepreneurial and the builder side of that solution to work with (communities) in order to do what we do, which is to execute a bigger plan, and do our part for serving the housing needs for our region."
Even though New Home announced its Oregon division in April, it actually started working in the state 10 or 11 months prior. And it has more work planned for the future.
"We have a significant supply of land in front of us that we're taking through the entitlement process, mostly in Washington County," Gast said.
By Jonathan Bach – Staff Reporter, Portland Business Journal Jun 28, 2023
Updated Jun 28, 2023, 3:49pm PDT