With the economy more robust, new developments again are filling the pipeline, in both urban and suburban locations and with the hallmarks that are high on renters' and buyers' wish lists—walkability, proximity to amenities in the community and building, views, light, and sustainable features. Here's a snapshot of three that have piqued our interest this month:
Lumina, San Francisco
Leave it to San Francisco to gain a striking, luxurious condominium high-rise with a sustainable edge.
Lumina at 201 Folsom St., developed by Tishman Speyer from New York with Chinese partner Vanke, is the city's first high-end condo to open since 2012. With two towers at 37 and 42 stories high, plus two mid-rise buildings of eight stories each, the complex will offer a total of 656 units, ranging from ¬studios to three-bedroom layouts, when completed this year.
The first two buildings—the lower structures—opened last fall, and the towers are now being finished.
Lumina's mostly glass façade pays homage to the structure's San Francisco Bay location with a watery motif of waves and ships. The building is looking to gain LEED Silver certification, with points earned through its transit-oriented development site.
In addition, Lumina offers a 9,500-square-foot commercial space with a gourmet market fit for San Franciscans' foodie appetites.
The high-rise was designed by Arquitectonica, in collaboration with Heller Manus Architects.
OakCliff Apartments, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Living downtown or nearby remains an increasingly popular trend for all age segments keen on proximity to activities, restaurants, stores, and more.
Just beyond the downtown of Ann Arbor, Mich., home to the prestigious University of Michigan's main location, renters can now enjoy the benefits of shops, restaurants, and what else a university town offers, at the OakCliff Apartments at 2255 Traverwood.
The complex is the first new one to be built outside the downtown in 25 years and lies less than a mile from the university's North Campus and the North Campus Research Complex.
The 217-unit, mixed-use building, developed by First Martin from Ann Arbor and designed by Hobbs + Black Architects and Village Green Interiors, offers one- and two-bedroom units, a 5,000-square-foot clubhouse, a business and conference center, a shared gourmet kitchen, a fitness studio, and a resort-style pool. In addition, the development is adjacent to the municipal Leslie Park Golf Course.
The Palazzo on St. Johns
Previously stalled due to the economy, a condo development at 3958 Baymeadows Rd. in Jacksonville, Fla., is now nearing completion with a new name, The Palazzo on St. Johns, and new owners, Forge Capital Partners from Tampa and Prospect Real Estate Group from Orlando.
The four-building complex will house a total of 72 large "estate-style" units with three and four bedrooms that appeal to those seeking a waterfront location—in this case, the St. Johns River—as well as sufficient space but in a multi-unit arrangement with an impressive array of amenities.
The list of standouts includes a private marina with boat slips; canoe and kayak launches; a resort-style pool and cabana; and a fitness center. There's also an electric charging station.
Prices are considered relatively affordable for the scale of the units, the site, and the amenity package. A three-bedroom with almost 2,000 square feet starts in the low $400,000s and includes a large dining-room area. Some of the four-bedroom plans have studies.
Two of The Palazzo's four buildings are finished; the remaining two will be completed by this fall.