Developers of a $57 million North Park apartment building are taking extra steps to give tenants multiple transportation options, including the use of an electric car that they can reserve through their cell phones.
“We really look at this as the future of housing development in cities like San Diego,” said Peter Richter, director of investor relations and capital markets for Interwest Capital Group.
“It’s catering to a demographic that doesn’t rely on the traditional two cars per unit. We envision the renters here to be people who aren’t commuting or maybe limited commuting who work from home and want that walkability,” Richter said.
Interwest Capital, based in UTC, and Streamline Development Group, based in Tierrasanta are building an eight-story apartment complex that will have 137 apartments, 13 of which will be affordable as defined by federal income guidelines.
Under the city’s Complete Community Communities plan that fosters transit-friendly projects, the complex qualified to have no parking spaces, said John Allen, president of Streamline Development, but he said that it will have parking for 111 vehicles using a mechanical parking system that works like an elevator, stacking vehicles.
There also will be bicycle racks and a bike repair station.
“We could theoretically zero park, but that’s just not a sustainable model and, quite frankly, I think zero parking is irresponsible from a development standpoint,” Allen said. “It’s not that people won’t have cars. They’re just going to have cars and park them on the street.”
Allen said that he supports the city’s plan to encourage transit-friendly projects, but he said that the transition car-free projects should be gradual.
The Polk Avenue site of the project was once a church that was demolished because it didn’t meet building codes and the congregation couldn’t afford to make repairs to bring it up to code, Allen said.
He said Streamline Development started working on the project in early 2020 and bought the property in December 2021 for $3.75 million.
“We joint ventured with Interwest Capital Group so we could move forward collectively,” Allen said.
In a nod to the history of the neighborhood, Richter said that the building is named Monroe, after John Harley Monroe, who many consider the founder of North Park.
Monroe acquired 40 acres of land northeast of Balboa Park in 1893 for lemon orchards. He called the area Harley’s North Park, later shortened simply to North Park. The property was subdivided into residential and commercial lots in 1911.
The project will take 18 months to 20 months to complete to be ready for leasing in August 2025, Allen said.
Designed by ACM Martin, based in Los Angeles, with offices in San Diego, the Monroe will be LEED platinum certified, Allen said.
The project will have a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments averaging about 700 square feet, Richter said. Most of the apartments will have balconies.
Rents have yet to be set, but Allen said that there will be an extra monthly charge of $50 for tenants who want a parking space.
Amar Mowji, director of Interwest Capital, said that likely tenants would be “younger working professionals, kind of a range, someone leaving Little Italy who wants a little more space.”
“It appeals to the single person who can walk to the night life and have all that fun, but also it’s nice for families looking for space,” Mowji said.
The building will have rooftop deck with an 800-square-foot indoor/outdoor clubhouse with plans to host events with local breweries, Allen said.
There’s also a second-floor amenity area that opens to the outdoors that will include a fitness center, a community kitchen, and flexible areas meant to double as coworking spaces and a place for tenants to socialize, Mowji said.
Richter said that the Monroe will be Interwest Capital’s first large-scale development, but the company is planning more, including a Mission Hills project that will have about 110 apartments and a Bankers Hill complex that will have about 125 apartments.
Similarly, Allen said that the Monroe will be the largest project to date for Streamline Development, adding that the company has 1,300 units in development or under contract.
Streamline Development Group
President: John Allen
Business: Real estate development
Interwest Capital Group
CEO: Alex Roudi
Business: Real estate investments
Notable: Interwest Capital is a privately held real estate investment firm founded by executives with diverse backgrounds. The company owns assets in nine states.