November 11, 2019
The developers of Costa Mesa’s Baker Block apartment complex aimed to distinguish their 240-unit project from other multifamily projects through their use of art.
For Irvine-based Red Oak Investments, which built the mid-rise complex in a venture with L.A.-based CityView, their aesthetic choices appear to have paid off handsomely.
Baker Block, a 2-year-old property that fronts the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway near Baker Street, recently sold for $113.5 million. It’s the highest price reported for a multifamily complex sale in Orange County this year, according to data from real estate market tracker CoStar Group Inc.
At nearly $473,000 per unit, it’s also the highest per-unit price seen for a larger-sized rental complex in OC in over two years, according to CoStar data.
The buyer is listed in property records as Baker Block Associates LP; state filings indicate the Anaheim-based entity has ties to Kort & Scott Financial Group LLC, an owner and operator primarily of manufactured housing communities. The new owners couldn’t be reached for comment.
Fairey’s 1st OC Mural
Baker Block stands out from the crowd, in terms of the numerous mid-rise apartment communities that have been built in OC during the recent market cycle.
Southern California street artist Shepard Fairey—a founder of Irvine apparel maker Obey Clothing who also created the iconic “Hope” posters used during Barack Obama’s presidential campaign—was enlisted to create an outsized mural on the exterior of the property, which is prominently displayed to drivers along the Costa Mesa Freeway.
The resulting “Welcome Home” artwork, unveiled in 2017 around the time of the complex’s opening, is the largest mural in Orange County, according to Red Oak Investments.
The complex’s website notes its design was inspired by the city’s skate and surf scene; notable amenities there include fifth-floor viewing and a wine-tasting roof deck, upscale fitness center, dog park, and pet wash area.
The property is reported to be more than 90% occupied; the cap rate for the deal stands at 4.1%, according to CoStar data. One-bedroom units at the complex run about $2,200 a month, while a two-bedroom unit starts around $2,700 a month.
By Mark Mueller
Originally published in OCBJ