Why Location Is Becoming The Top Selling Point.


Housing, Traffic Issues Shifting The Tide Of Multifamily Development In Silicon Valley.

Having a multifamily project close to density as well as office and retail has benefits and does make lease-up easier. “The best amenity isn’t the building. It’s where you can walk to from it,” Sares Regis Group Senior Vice President Dave Hopkins said. “It’s the transit. It’s the job. If you really hit a home run, you put [the project] near a base of employment.” At Sares Regis’ newest condo complex, which began sales last year, 3,500 people expressed interest in 52 units in Mountain View along El Camino Real and close to transit and 120 people were pre-approved, according to Hopkins.

The complex quickly sold out at over $1K/SF. Sares Regis has been working on transit-oriented developments in South San Francisco, San Bruno, Belmont and Downtown Redwood City. Its biggest project is the redevelopment with Hunter Properties of downtown Sunnyvale’s former Sunnyvale Town Center into a mixed-use community with retail, office and residential.  At a project in Downtown Sunnyvale, SummerHill Apartment Communities decided to forgo a swimming pool for a small project that had 105 units, SummerHill Apartment Communities Executive Vice President and Managing Director Katia Kamangar said. The project was in a great location in downtown but was competing with a larger project farther from downtown that had a huge swimming pool. SummerHill’s project had fire pits, water fountains and high-quality spaces, she said. Despite some initial nerves, the project leased up, she said.  “You have to be careful … your location and your amenity package has to be commensurate,” she said.

The Core Cos. is planning to build the 300-unit Gateway Tower in Downtown San Jose and Neale said one of the biggest features to this project is its location. “Residents in these apartment communities really want to be in these vibrant 24/7 neighborhoods,” he said. What is also driving the need for denser communities near transit are people’s perceptions of how housing is changing. Families want that smaller home near transit where they can go out and spend weekends walking around with their kids, Polaris Pacific partner Paul Zeger said. “Municipalities have to accept density near transit as a good thing,” Zeger said.

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