Urban Housing Group Sees Relatively Strong Leasing Rates at Strata at Mission Bay

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorSan Francisco—Urban Housing Group of Palo Alto, Calif., a subsidiary of The Marcus & Millichap Company, is on track to lease 25 units per month at its recently opened Strata at Mission Bay, a 192-unit mixed-use luxury community that includes 10,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail.Despite the recession, the San Francisco market has shown strength in its occupancy numbers, with many properties maintaining 90 percent rates, Dan Deibel, vice president of development for Palo Alto-based Urban Housing Group, tells MHN. Since the Strata’s opening two weeks ago, Urban Housing Group has leased 20 units, which Deibel notes is on par for a rate of 30 units this month alone.Mission Bay is a 303-acre redevelopment project that will include 6,000 housing units—rental and for-sale, affordable and luxury—a 500-room hotel, five million sq. ft. of office space and 50 acres of public park space at build out. Additionally, Deibel notes, “since the plan was put together in the late ‘90s, California and San Francisco have decided to build a new $1.5 billion hospital” that will include a children’s hospital, a women’s hospital and a cancer center. The site’s key component is its 43-acre life science research campus for the University of California, San Francisco.  According to Deibel, the research and tech sectors are “the lifeline of San Francisco in this economy, because there are still companies wanting to relocate to San Francisco to be close to them.”Strata at Mission Bay is the first development to open on Fourth Street, the city’s first street in decades to be added to the existing grid. “The long-term plan is to create a neighborhood district, similar to a lot of districts in San Francisco—such as the Fillmore, Chestnut Street and Union Street—that tend to be a component of the neighborhood that everyone gravitates toward,” explains Deibel.Deibel notes that 2 to 3 percent of the San Francisco apartment market is comprised of a condo shadow supply, resulting in a loss of rent growth for the Strata’s opening. Consequently, Urban Housing Group is offering residents the choice of one month free or free parking for the term of the lease. Monthly rents at the Strata range from $2,100 to $4,000, which is approximately 10 percent lower than they would have been one year ago.The transit-oriented Strata at Mission Bay is located within a half-block to the SFMTA’s (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s) Muni T-Line, which provides easy access to the city’s Central Business District, and is in close proximity to Caltrain Station, which is the commuter train that runs between San Francisco and San Jose. In addition, Strata provides only one parking space per unit to encourage biking and public transportation among residents.
Designed by San Francisco-based SB Architects, Strata offers eight floor plans, including one- and two-bedroom units, as well as 10 two-story townhomes for rent. Residences range in size from 650 to 1,250 sq. ft. and feature nine-foot ceilings, granite countertops, in-unit washers and dryers, and expansive windows that provide unobstructed views of San Francisco Bay, the City’s skyline, the Bay Bridge and AT&T Park. Many units also include private outdoor space.
 Deibel notes that Urban Housing Group wanted to create a sense of community with its amenity package, which includes a large clubhouse building within a 20,000-sq.-ft. resort-style landscaped interior courtyard that features a fitness center, resident lounge with demonstration kitchen, theater, outdoor fireplaces, seating areas, bocce courts and a sundeck. “When we designed this building, we really wanted to create a destination,” Deibel says.
The Strata is the second Urban Housing Group project in Mission Bay. Edgewater, a 193-unit apartment community, was leased and sold in May 2008 to United Dominion Realty Trust for $595,855 per unit.