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From Hotel to Long-Term Housing

Sage Investment Group is leading the way

Article by Bree O'Brien

Photography by Courtesy of Sage Investment Group

Originally published in Kirkland Lifestyle

Kirkland-based entrepreneur Emily Hubbard has leveraged her experience in the real estate industry to invest in local communities with an innovative housing model that provides some of the “missing middle” work-force housing many metropolitan areas need. She and her husband own Sage Investment Group, a real estate private equity firm which buys two-star hotels and converts them into micro-housing. While there are Sage properties around the country, 40% of them are up and down the I-5 corridor including Bellevue, Olympia, Tacoma, Lakewood, and Burien. “The welcome that we’ve received in Bellevue has been phenomenal,” says Hubbard.

Founded in 2019 with the intent to develop student housing, the pandemic turned college campuses into ghost towns, necessitating a pivot. Sage started marketing its rentals to young professionals and retirees, with one benefit being that while student housing often turns over annually, this demographic tends to stay 2-3 years. The units are market-rate, but affordable and the monthly payment is all-inclusive for rent, utilities, and parking. 

The company buys off-market, and hoteliers usually come to them to sell. Sage can remodel a building and turn it around in 12 months (though zoning changes can be a hurdle), but little quirks are often left when a hotel is converted to apartments. The company works with those quirks to include features like dog parks and happy hour spaces on its properties to increase community involvement from residents.

Sage will purchase $200MM in hotels throughout the country this year.

  • Exterior of the Pinnacle property
  • Interior of the Pinnacle Property