Walking through the main lobby of Marquee Park Place—Orange County, Calif.'s answer to the urban high-rise craze—you get a sense that you're not in a run-of-the-mill condo building. It's more like a five-star luxury hotel.

Marquee's grand entrance features a gated circular driveway with a porte cochere and a secured entrance leading to the property's elegant lobby. A 24-hour concierge is stationed in the lobby, which features marble floors and jazz music, creating a ritzy hotel ambience.

Built by Vancouver, B.C.-based residential developer Bosa Development, the 18-story community known as Orange County's first high-rise condominium complex consists of two concrete and glass towers. There are 232 units offering two-bedroom, two-bath, as well as two-bedroom with den, floor plans, all ranging from about 1,275 square feet to 2,088 square feet.

Unit amenities include full-height windows, expansive balconies, and cable and Internet wiring. The complex also offers a business center, social room, billiards room, pool, lush gardens, and a fitness center with changing and locker rooms. When it opened for sale in 2003, prices ranged from $650,000 to more than $1 million.

Burnaby, B.C.-based Chris Dikeakos Architects designed the condo complex, whose verticality stands out from the O.C.'s suburban reality and pop-culture image. But Nat Bosa, president of Bosa Development, was willing to take such a leap. “How would you know unless you try?” says Bosa. He believes demand for luxury residences within an urban environment will only continue to grow in Orange County. In fact, he has four more high-rises planned for the area.

REACH FOR THE SKY: The Marquee Park Place is one of the first high-rise condos in Orange County.
REACH FOR THE SKY: The Marquee Park Place is one of the first high-rise condos in Orange County.