July 22, 2016

The Quarry Seeks LEED in La Mesa

A unique and green multifamily development in Southern California modernizes an area thirsty for an updated product type
By Genevieve Smith, Builder and Developer, July, 2016

The Quarry is a collection of brand new apartment homes in La Mesa, Calif. Featuring a unique collection of one and two bedroom apartments, The Quarry touts an eco-friendly approach to multi-family development. The development is pursuing LEED Silver, and keeps the green from impinging on style or convenience.

Each home features upscale finishes, modern appliances, and plenty of space to accommodate personal style and furnishings. Within walking distance to La Mesa Village and the Spring Street Trolley Station, The Quarry provides easy access to popular destinations all over San Diego.

Located in the unique La Mesa submarket of San Diego, Calif., Silvergate Development brought The Quarry to an area ready and waiting for a new product. The La Mesa submarket self-divides into two areas, north and south, on either side of Highway 8. This is the core of Downtown La Mesa, characterized by older inventory that has not been broadly upgraded.

While there have been some developments north of the 8, the area has seen nothing new south of the 8 in years, leaving a large vacuum for developments like what Silvergate Development has been able to bring into the marketplace with the Quarry. “The enthusiasm among prospective renters has been so great,” said Melissa Deen, Vice President of Marketing of Sunrise Management, the property management firm who oversees The Quarry.

Sunrise Management took over management of the $14 million property in December of 2014 while the building was still under construction. Deen was in an interesting predicament at the time. According to her, “San Diego is a great example of the ‘good-market’ paradox.” She goes on to explain that even through the years of the recession, the rental market in San Diego stayed relatively strong and the effect that had on landlords, managers, operators, and others who have never known a down market in the multifamily management field. “It’s been such a good market for so long that a lot of people in the business have never been in an open-market competitive situation that requires them to sharpen their skills due to that demand,” said Deen.

The ‘good market paradox’ contributed to the need for training and retraining of property managers to exact high-levels of customer service in the intensive way that those who have been exposed to other, less fortunate markets where, as Deen puts it, “you have to be good or you wouldn’t be successful,” they would already have acquired those heightened skill sets by necessity. With quality property management in place, there was nothing to stop the amenities and state-of-the-art features at The Quarry from shining.

Located on 1.6 acres at 4330 Palm Ave. adjacent to a neighborhood park, The Quarry was developed by Silvergate Development LLC as the managing partner of Palm Terrace La Mesa Partners LLC. Collier Park, located directly across the street from The Quarry, features a lighted tennis court, picnic area, and barbecues as well as a playground and becomes a recreational extension of The Quarry.

Pending LEED Silver, sustainable features of the new community include photovoltaic solar panels, increased insulation for a tight building envelope, energy efficient double-paned windows, LED lighting and even natural spring water for irrigation of the property.

“There’s a lot of attention being paid to being energy and resource efficient,” said Deen. “We’re pursuing LEED certification, and it’s reflected in the design of the property. The product is very functional. There are private home entries into each apartment, it’s in a walkable location, and it’s leaning toward that urban/suburban locale with proximity to retail and the Downtown core of La Mesa.” She goes on to point out that The Quarry is a smoke-free community, contributing to cleaner air, and pet-friendly with hard-surface flooring throughout and the fact that its directly across from the park, a rarity in multifamily housing.

Interior highlights include one- and two-bedroom floorplans with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, vaulted ceilings, and upgraded flooring. The community also boasts an elevated courtyard with a barbecue and parking with carports. “It’s very modern in terms of finishes and design, and it’s got great tones, granite countertops, energy-efficient appliances and double-paned windows. It’s in sharp contrast to the rest of the inventory in that area,” said Deen.

The contemporary, urban-style architecture was designed by Tanner Hecht Architecture and the construction team was directed by Highland Partnership Inc. Fully built out, The Quarry holds 60-units within the three buildings of its community.

The Quarry is attracting younger demographics with the local breweries nearby, but it’s also capturing the interest of baby boomers, many of who have ties to area but don’t necessarily want to keep their equity tied up in a larger home.

“People wanted a lifestyle that simply wasn’t available in this submarket until the Quarry came online,” said Deen. “They want new, modern design and quality housing with amenities that The Quarry offers.”

Genevieve Smith is the Editor for Builder and Developer magazine. She may be reached at gen@penpubinc.com.