ULI Orange County/Inland Empire What’s New?

Take Me To The City

By: Amy Martz, AIA, Associate Partner, MVE+Partners

Over 30 young professionals converged on the leasing office at Pacific City, one of the latest mixed-use developments in Huntington Beach, for ULI’s bi-monthly YLG “Board Room After Hours” event. Leading the discussion were Stenn Parton, Director of Acquisitions and Development at DJM Capital Partners and Jeff Larsen, Principal at architectural firm MVE+Partners. DJM Capital partners are responsible for the development of the retail and hotel sites at Pacific City and MVE+Partners are involved on the residential site.

Pacific City was the original name of the early oceanfront village that would eventually become known as Huntington Beach.  The original masterplan of this 31-acre site got city approval back in 2004 with 516 apartment units, 191,000 sf and 250-key 4-star hotel.  Due to the downturn of the economy, Pacific City went through multiple acquisitions by companies such as Makar Properties, Crescent Heights, DJM and UDR, contributing to a fairly lengthy design and development process including many iterations of site planning and architectural design.

As the architect of the apartments at Pacific City, Jeff Larsen experienced the long evolution of the project first hand.  According to UDR, the development company of the apartment site, the current schedule for initial occupancy is April 2017.  This new apartment community is comprised of six residential buildings, a community amenity building, leasing office, large pool deck, a front guardhouse entry, and a public park with an internal pedestrian linkage through all of the courtyards.  The apartments include studios and 1-3 bedroom units with sizes ranging from 657 – 1,761 sf, and monthly rents ranging from $2800 up to $10,000.  The 12,000sf of centralized amenities including pool, gym, yoga, ‘gear’ room for surf/paddle boards are some of the features that residents will look forward to enjoying within this gated community.

Stenn Parton wrapped up the event by enthusiastically leading the group on a walking tour of the more than 80% leased-out retail complex.  The tenants include many boutique stores, unique restaurants as well as anchor names such as Equinox, Tommy Bahama, and H&M.  Another refreshing idea here is the public market and California culinary experience – LOT 579, which will allow almost seamless connection to the hotel next door while providing convenient casual dining on the ground level.  Some of the other design features include ocean view overlooks, oceanfront outdoor event space and California Coastal architecture with a modern interpretation.

The young professionals who were lucky enough to get a ticket to this sold-out event, were able to see firsthand, a great example of public and private sectors working hand in hand through a harsh economic environment to create an attraction that was designed for use by the city and community yet still feasible for the private sector developer.

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