Orange County Condo Property Successfully Reinvented as Upscale Apartments

Renters in Irvine, Calif., are clearly keen on upscale accommodations, as evidenced by the latest news at a luxury multifamily property built by Lennar and Intergulf Development Group in 2010.

Irvine, Calif.—Renters in Irvine, Calif., are clearly keen on upscale accommodations, as evidenced by the latest news at a luxury multifamily property built by Lennar and Intergulf Development Group in 2010. It’s been just six months since 240 residences at Astoria, originally conceived as condominiums, were introduced as upscale apartment units and, already, 50 percent of the rentals have been leased.

Change can be good. As Alicia Scott, national business development director with Alliance Residential, the firm marketing the property, tells MHN, Astoria’s conversion from condos to rentals was induced by “the demand in the marketplace for high-quality residences for lease.” It’s that simple.

Located in Central Park West, a 42-acre destination that holds the distinction of being Irvine’s first urban master-planned community, Astoria is a two-tower high-rise complex offering a long list of coveted amenities and premium features. In addition to the state-of-the-art fitness center and premier community room that renters practically demand these days, the property encompasses rarely found conveniences that, Scott notes, have played a substantial role in attracting lease commitments. “Astoria boasts an extensive amenity package including a community wine cellar, valet guest parking, and the opportunity to live within Central Park West and have the usage of all its amenities,” she says. “Astoria at Central Park West simply provides a community with quality homes rich in amenities and thoughtful customer service, and those are things that are always in demand.”

It’s a new era in multifamily housing in Orange County and indeed, in most tony areas of major metropolitan markets across the country. “The renter profile today, especially for high-density, urban rental housing, has changed substantially in just one generation,” Tyler Martin, vice president with Apartment Realty Advisors, tells MHN. “The younger generation—Generation X or Y—they’re much more comfortable renting indefinitely. They like to be nimble; they don’t want to be tied down with buying a house.”

But it’s not just a new attitude toward life and living that is inciting younger households to focus their housing pursuits on renting as opposed to buying. “They saw what happened with the single-family home debacle and are scared to buy a home,” he adds. “And in coastal [Orange County] markets like Newport Beach, Corona del Mar and Irvine, the mortgage on a new construction home or condo is significantly higher than the cost to rent.”

Industry experts believe Orange County renters’ increasing taste for the good life without the responsibility and risk of ownership will have a notable impact on plans for new apartment projects in Orange County. “Developers have recognized what’s going on with the renter profile and they’re starting to cater to the new generation with the type of amenities, high-end finishes and technology infrastructure,” Martin says. “That’s what’s going to be built in the future because the younger people who are in the workforce, who have good jobs and make good money, they can afford and are willing to rent for the foreseeable future.”