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Heated bathroom floors hit hot OKC apartment market
Heated bathroom floors, walk-in showers, keyless entries and other extras show that longtime Tulsa apartment developer Ed Leinbach knows his new Crown at Lone Oak Apartments in Oklahoma City has to compete on multiple fronts.
There’s even a complementary TV in each kitchen.
On one front, Leinbach competes against other luxury apartments with their own ideas of what renters want at a time of high demand for upscale digs.
On the other, he contends with major apartment owners with the advantage of higher rent volume and investors more likely to build, fill and sell, profiting more from appreciation and a capitalized income stream than monthly rental income.
Then there are homes for sale and homes for rent.
“Our experience has been that, if we’re at a superior location, with a high-quality product, over time we’ll be OK. That’s our philosophy,” Leinbach said.
Leinbach Co. builds, markets, manages and owns apartments for the long term, and has since 1990. Leinbach also has acquired an existing complex here and there.
“When you’re not the biggest guy, you have to try a little harder, so we try to put a few more amenities in than maybe the other people do, and hopefully the market likes that,” Leinbach said at Crown at Lone Oak, north of NW 150 and west of Portland Avenue.
Leinbach is especially proud of the heated master bathroom floors, open-concept kitchens, keyless entries and other extra security measures, and outside, the resort-style pool, firepit, grills, pickleball court and community vegetable gardens.
Most Leinbach properties are in Tulsa. Crown Lone Oak, 15400 Crown at Lone Oak Drive, is just the second one he’s built in Oklahoma City. The first was Crown Martin Park, 5300 W Memorial Road, in 1999. He also owns The Hunt Apartments, 3016 SW 89, acquired in 2008.
Leinbach bought the land for 283-unit Crown at Lone Oak about 30 months ago. The luxury apartment building boom was well underway — and persists.
Rent rates buoyed by quality and “terrific” upkeep will make the $35 million property successful, he said.
“Apartment building is certainly competitive. The rates that you can get are certainly determined by market conditions,” he said. “We build these ourselves, so there’s a bit of cost advantage to us there.
“But primarily we try to build product that we put in a bit more than you’re going to get for the same money from a competitor. It doesn’t matter who the competition is. We have to do it on style and quality, because we can’t compete on volume. We don’t have a huge number of units. We’re a fairly small company. My wife and I (Kathy) own it.”
Leinbach is taking advantage of the widening of Portland Avenue to four lanes, and “building to cater to the people who would likely live … somewhere downtown, due to the style of architecture and amenities and interior appointments, but maybe don’t want to pay the prices,” said David Dirkschneider, multifamily broker with Price Edwards & Co.
“If you look at the design of it, it has that modern style architecture and luxury look as compared to the traditional garden style typically built in this area,” he said, but “will have a lot of luxury amenities that other properties don’t have.”
Traditional garden-style apartments are leasing for more than Crown at Lone Oak is asking, Dirkschneider said, “so it’s interesting how he’s able to provide all of these and keep his costs low, but however he’s doing it, I think it will work.”
Kathy Leinbach did interior design at Crown at Lone Oak. The architect was Larry Kester. Tracy long is construction project manager.
The clubhouse and one of about 20 apartment buildings are complete. Leinbach said the complex should be finished by July.
The city will OK the first building for occupancy any day now, he said, coinciding with the donation of land nearby for a city park and trails.
Lone Oak LLC and Lone Oak Farms Homeowners Association, the single-family neighborhood just to the west, are conveying 130 acres to the city. It’s part of oilman and philanthropist Dean A. McGee’s Lone Oak Farms.
Crown at Lone Oak is in the Edmond public school district, which Leinbach considers a big draw. He said it will attract people from 24 to 35, single and married, as well as older folks ready to relinquish homeownership for a landlord, manager and security officer.
Kris Judd, director of property management, said the apartment units range from one-bedroom units 797 to 846 square feet with rents from $915 to $995, to two-bedroom villas with attached garages at 1,271 square feet from $1,400 to $1,430.
Features include 1-gig internet, stainless-steel appliances, double bathroom vanities, full-size washer and dryer hook-ups, wood plank flooring and USB charging ports. Crown at Lone Oak is pet friendly and smoke free.