San Diego — Atlanta-based Wood Partners has entered the Downtown San Diego market with two residential projects. Wood Partners’ SoCal VP of development, Will Winkenhofer, who is among Downtown developers presenting at Bisnow’s San Diego’s 3rd Annual Evolution of Downtown tomorrow, tells us both projects are designed to accommodate professionals who work in nontraditional environments, as well as traditional offices. Will Winkenhofer The Rey is a 478-unit residential tower at 801 B St in the Cortez Hill neighborhood. The other project is an eight-story, 110-unit, luxury project at 1919 Pacific Coast Hwy in Little Italy.

He says Wood Partners entered the Downtown San Diego market because his company is focused on infill locations in core, urban, gateway cities. “Downtown San Diego has undergone an extraordinary transformation in the last decade. We are big believers in the future of downtown and are pleased to be a part of shaping the city’s skyline,” Will adds. “San Diego’s strong demographics, which include one of the nation’s largest Millennial cohorts, supports rental demand for years to come,” he says. Will also notes apartment demand is high because the high cost of San Diego homes and condos has pushed the homebuying decision out several years. He says the regulatory process has been made easier in Downtown SD and went very smoothly, for which he’s appreciative. “Downtown San Diego’s Planned Development Ordinance supports dense development within the context of smart growth and this, in turn, provides the regulatory certainty our firm needs to invest in sizable downtown projects,” Will adds.

One reason developers find Downtown SD a desirable place to develop is because Civic San Diego, the city’s planning agency, has taken the entire Downtown market through the environmental review process, cutting the entitlement process to six months or less. CCBG Architects/Wood Partners The Rey, which is Wood Partners’ first Downtown SD project, will offer a high-rise living experience with efficient floor plans and first-class amenities. “While our average unit sizes are smaller, our amenities have been well thought-out, and we are confident they will be a point of differentiation,” Will tells us. For example, the lobby doubles as a flexible co-working and social gathering space. Designed to support entrepreneurs and other home-based professionals by day, the space can be modified to host music, art and other community events in the evening. This is a somewhat unique feature integrated into many of Wood Partners’ properties, he says. “We try not to over-program common spaces, so they can be activated for different uses.” Will says the lobby bar has a working counter that functions like a Starbucks work center during the day, but can be used to host social events during the evening. CCBG Architects/Wood Partners Designed by the SD office of CCBG Architects, the 801 B St project, which is being developed in two phases, will ultimately include 955 residential units.

The Rey is the first phase, which Swinerton Builders will complete by year end, and includes 478 studio, one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 450 SF to 1,100 SF. This project will provide 360-degree views from Balboa Park to the north, the San Diego Bay and Coronado Bridge to the west, and city lights looking south. “This was a unique project for us,” Will tells us. “We came in mid-stage after the project was entitled. We were somewhat limited in our ability to change the design of the building; however, we were able to make programming changes that we feel will enhance the overall resident experience.” This included rearranging amenities to create an indoor-meets-outdoor experience on the rooftop. “Given that our project was designed with a limited amount of indoor amenity space, we felt it was a natural decision to rethink our roof plan. “In a climate such as San Diego’s, outdoor space should be given equal consideration as indoor space.

With this in mind, we are investing heavily in the rooftop experience, adding gathering spaces on the rooftop pool and offering a unique outdoor cooking experience,” he adds, noting there will barbecue stations with a kitchen area, beverage coolers and long picnic tables. CCBG Architects/Wood Partners “To satisfy our requirement to provide ‘green roof’ space, we came up with a clever solution by adding multiple overhang structures that support our green roof, but double as shaded areas for our residents to socialize or relax by themselves both day and night,” Will says. The co-working space was the result of reprogramming, but communal spaces also were created to provide residents an opportunity to work outdoors in small or large groups, as well as in solitary spaces that provide privacy, he notes. “We’ll have an outdoor paseo with ample landscaping shade and a public plaza with seating and water features to provide a tranquil setting for both our residents and the public at large.”

Wood Partners converted two apartment units into a two-level fitness facility, which Will says will be open 24-7 and includes cardio and weight equipment and space for group training, yoga, spinning and video-on-demand training. “We put a lot of thought into our technology offerings,” Will says. The Rey will offer free WiFi and boosted cell service to ensure residents who work from home are connected and can communicate freely from anywhere in the building. Additionally, the Rey will offer parcel lockers for e-commerce deliveries.


Wood Partners Breaks Ground on Alta Wilde Lake

Columbia, Md.—A key component of the redevelopment at Wilde Lake Village Center will break ground this month. Wood Partners LLC announced an approximately $45 million 230-unit multifamily community on 2.79 acres at Alta Wilde Lake in downtown Columbia, Md. Apartments will be available for lease in summer 2016.

The mixed-use community of Alta Wilde Lake will offer much-needed housing in a presently underserved affluent area. Columbia, situated in Howard County, was the top-performing submarket in suburban Maryland in 2013. Rents were growing by four percent in a time when many submarkets experienced no rent growth, according to Delta Associates’ Class A Apartment Market Report. “With few projects slated for delivery in this market over the next 36 months, we anticipate that occupancy will tighten and rents will likely continue to increase in 2015,” said Scott Zimmerly, director of the Mid-Atlantic Region for Wood Partners.

Howard County, located in the center of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor, shows off a median household income of $103,643 and is ranked the third wealthiest county in the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau. Columbia, a planned community made up of ten self-contained villages, is the second most populated community in Maryland after Baltimore.

Sited less than a half mile from The Mall in Columbia, Howard County Community College, Howard County General Hospital and excellent schools and recreational facilities, Alta Wilde Lake at 5420 Lynx Lane will include two five-story apartment buildings connected by a three-level sky bridge over Lynx Lane. The community will feature an expansive clubhouse with a sports lounge, café, business center and conference room, a pet spa, bicycle storage and maintenance room, a resort-style saltwater pool, a fire pit, an outdoor kitchen, grilling stations and a state-of-the-art fitness center and aerobic studio highlighting on-demand virtual fitness classes.

The property will also include nearly 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and is located within the newly redeveloped Wilde Lake Village Center, comprising about 60,000 square feet of retail and 30,000 square feet of office space.

JDavis Architects designed the project. Wood Partners is the general contractor and Wood Residential Services will be managing the community once it’s complete.