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Firm Covers a Lot of Ground With Projects

The coming year will likely be a busy one for locally based developer ColRich, which has several apartment and single-family projects either moving forward or nearing completion in 2013.

Adding to three developments now under construction in North and South County — totaling more than 600 housing units — the company recently closed escrow on a Point Loma property where it plans to build Waterpoint, with 40 luxury condominiums.

ColRich Co-President and Chief Operating Officer Graeme Gabriel said the company plans to break ground in early 2013 on the 1.65-acre site that at one time housed Kettenburg Marine & Boat Works, and more recently was eyed by various developers for a potential hotel and other projects.

Waterpoint will include 36 residential and four live/work spaces, and Gabriel said talks will soon get under way to find tenants for 7,000 square feet of commercial space, likely to include retailers, eateries and professional businesses to serve the local waterfront neighborhood. The site received permit approvals from the city in 2008.

Developers are targeting a high-end clientele for the project, set for a 2015 completion and situated on one of the last large available bayfront parcels in that Point Loma neighborhood off Scott Street. Pricing has not been finalized, but condos could range between $600,000 and $1 million.

“Our general strategy is to find locations where we can build what we feel is a signature property for that market,” Gabriel said, noting that the firm’s San Diego County projects span a range of product types and price points.

Partners Build Eastlake Apartments

The privately held ColRich and its development partner, The Resmark Companies of Los Angeles, are not disclosing the dollar amount of their expected investment at Point Loma.

The two companies earlier this year broke ground on CasaLago, a community of 427 apartments in Eastlake, near the U.S. Olympic Training Center, on track for a 2013 opening. Gabriel said leasing will likely begin after the first of the year, and the development could appeal to consumers across multiple demographics, either unable or not seeking to purchase single-family homes in the current economy.

San Diego-based ColRich, a family-run company started in 1977 and now led by Graeme and his brother Danny Gabriel, is also in the midst of two North County single-family projects expected to be fully built out by the end of 2013. Sandalwood, in Carlsbad’s La Costa neighborhood, will have 67 luxury homes likely to be priced in the $700,000s; and Solaire, in western San Marcos, includes 140 entry-level “smart” townhomes equipped with energy-efficient features and priced starting in the high $200,000s.

San Diego County home sales transaction volume and pricing have been ticking upward in recent months, and Gabriel said a total of about 80 percent of the homes have already been purchased at the Carlsbad and San Marcos developments.

Attractive Investment Market

Connie Emmitt-Stern, senior vice president of investments in the San Diego office of Resmark, said the company has been investing in the local market since the late 1990s. It remained active in the San Diego region throughout the national housing slump, teaming with ColRich and other firms to develop and acquire local apartments and other housing since 2007.

She said San Diego has held up as an attractive investment market, due to factors including scarcity of developable land and other barriers to entry, which have helped to prevent overbuilding. Resmark plans to invest more locally in coming years, based on housing indicators that generally have been trending positive since the first quarter of 2012.

“We are definitely looking to grow our presence in San Diego, in the single-family and multifamily projects,” Emmitt-Stern said.

Resmark, started in 1995, has a single-family and multifamily portfolio spanning several states, primarily in the West.

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