The North Bay Business Journal // San Francisco Bay Area

Preserve at Marin expects to be complete in the coming Months

By: Gary Quackenbusch

CORTE MADERA – Private Label International, an award-winning international design firm based in Phoenix, has completed phase one of its first Bay Area project at the Preserve at Marin Apartment Homes, upgrading an existing 126-unit boutique apartment community originally built in 1968.

Private Label International-Preserve at Marin-Wendi Stallings

Four of the seven buildings, located at 359 Robin Dr., were ready for move-in during the summer of 2014, and all construction activities should be completed by winter.

Developer Apartment Investment and Management Company (NYSE: AIV) of Denver, also known as AIMCO, acquired this project originally named Madera Vista in 2011 for $43.6 million and invested an additional $32.6 million to transform the site into one of Marin County’s premier apartment communities.

Apartments have two or three bedrooms and range in size from 1,300 to 2,400 square feet. Monthly rent ranges from $3,900 up to $11,600 for penthouse units.

The repositioning and renovation plan included an architectural enhancement to the residential buildings, new interior floor plans centered around the open, stylized foodie kitchens and incorporating previously unused space to create several penthouse units completed with separate great rooms and large rooftop decks.

Private Label International-preserve model-kitchen

AIMCO also added luxury amenities such as a new clubhouse, wine bar and fitness center featuring technogym machines with personal TVs and free weights. Outdoor resident spaces include a zero-edge “infinity” pool with underwater speakers and a sundeck overlooking the bay, an al fresco kitchen and covered outdoor barbecue area with radiant heaters along with a fire pit area that takes advantage of views of Mt. Tamalpais and the panorama across the bay to the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.

Residents also have direct access to the trails on Ring Mountain while living just 20 minutes from San Francisco. Preserve at Marin (415-886-3149, preserveatmarin.com) is located within the Reed School District.

“The Preserve at Marin property is a breakthrough development project for this South Marin neighborhood,” said Wendi Stallings, principal for Private Label International.  “It brings all the style and luxury of a modern community, while staying true to its surroundings – which is the essence of living in Marin.”

The resident clubhouse is designed with materials and colors to reflect the local esthetics of Marin. Custom furniture pieces were handcrafted by local artisans, in some cases using the same white oak as the architectural woodwork used throughout. Fabrics were hand selected for texture, color and natural fibers that soften the spaces.  The overall experience is that of a modern and luxurious retreat.

Private Label’s market research confirmed how strong the demand was for chef style kitchens in newly built and remodeled homes in the area.

“San Franciscans place a high premium on kitchens that are both modern and functional. The kitchens are the heart of the units, the goal was for them to have their unique flair and personality, so we incorporated a reveal detail into the feature wall to separate the cooking area from the wine storage on one side and the built in fridge on the other.  It’s unexpected for a rental property and gives this property its own individual statement.” Said Wendi.

These pet-friendly, air-conditioned, smoke-free apartments feature spacious living areas with a balcony and patio and full-size washers and dryers. They come with quartz countertops, wood flooring and GE profile stainless steel appliances in every home.  Residents will also enjoy underground garage parking, on-site recycling and tech-friendly amenities including the Preserve Lifestyle Lounge with charging stations and Wi-Fi.

Private Label worked with Aimco, the developer, and their team of consultants to redesign and reposition the property. Aimco is a Denver-based apartment real estate investment trust (REIT), which Private Label has worked with on several projects including the Flamingo in Miami, the Historic Calhoun Beach Club in Minneapolis and 2900 on First in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle.

AIMCO started the renovation project at a cost of $32.6 million, partly funded with a loan from Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Mortgage Capital. Prudential is providing $28.34 million, according to AIMCO filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As an S&P 500 index company, AIMCO is one of the country’s largest owners and operators of apartments, with 218 communities in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Complexes in the AIMCO portfolio average B-minus to -B-plus in investment-quality ratings, and average monthly rent per unit was $1,332 in the company’s third fiscal quarter, up eight percent from a year before.

Private Label is also known for cultivating the Cabana Modern Apartment Homes brand for Deco Communities to create an entirely new multi-housing niche for modern living spaces at an affordable price, according to a company spokesperson. With projects in five countries and 23 cities worldwide, Private Label has completed projects for leading commercial and real estate developers, retailers, hoteliers and restaurateurs. Specific project types include hotels and resorts; clubhouses; sales, leasing and information centers as well as renovation, rehabilitation and property repositioning.

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