Newport gets 'walkable living' apartment project near JWA [The Orange County Register :: ]
(Orange County Register (CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 06--Newport Beach's coastal vibe is getting an urban twist with the groundbreaking of Uptown Newport, a project expected to bring shops, parks and about 1,244 condos and apartments to an industrial area near John Wayne Airport.
The project capitalizes on apartment dwellers' rising interest in walkable, high-density living, more commonly seen in downtown Los Angeles and Anaheim's Platinum Triangle, according to William Shopoff, CEO of The Shopoff Group, the project's master developer.
"Younger people want to live closer to where things are happening and drive less," said Shopoff, noting the popularity of Central Park West, a walkable development by Lennar Corp. across the border in Irvine.
Shopoff calls the master-planned development a first for the coastal city. He expects its mix of shops, apartments, condos and parks to appeal to "renters by choice," who can afford to buy, but choose not to because of a desire for mobility or a more carefree lifestyle.
Floor plans will start about 650 square feet, with many in the 1,200-to-1,400-square-foot range, Shopoff said. Some larger units will also be available. About 20 percent of the units will be set aside as affordable housing.
Rents will range from $2,000 to $5,000 monthly, according to Shopoff. Newport Beach apartment complexes, in comparison, rent for an average of $2,343 monthly, according to a 2013 report by apartment tracker RealFacts.
Construction began mid-February on the first phase of luxury apartments, expected to be completed by mid- to late-2016, Shopoff said.
Part of the 25-acre project along Jamboree Road will include townhomes and condos, and Shopoff said they're looking for home builders right now.
He said construction of the first phase, which includes demolition of one of two industrial buildings, should run about $225 million.
The second phase will come later, on land now occupied by semiconductor manufacturer TowerJazz. The manufacturer has a lease through 2017 with an option to extend to 2027, Shopoff said.
The project is inside Sana Ana Unified School District boundaries. Shopoff said they've had preliminary discussions with that district and the Newport-Mesa Unified School District about including Uptown Newport residents in Newport schools.
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