Greg Strangman is trying to get me to move in with him.
Well, okay, Greg doesn't actually want me to live with him, but he's betting that LWP Group, Inc.'s newest real estate development in Banker's Hill will have me falling in love at first sight. Falling in love, that is, with Greg's vision of a new urban San Diego.
Maybe you've already seen the signs: the resurgence of North Park, the multitude of bicycle-riding hipsters; there is a whole population of San Diegans who never visit the beach and who aren't quite sure how to get there. For those of you unused to big cities, let me clarify: these people are urbanites and they need a place to live.
Not a cookie-cutter loft place to live, nor some sort of Disney-fied image of city living, but a real honest-to-goodness apartment that offers some solace from the outside world while remaining smack-dab in the middle of it.
LWP Group, Inc.'s new Banker's Hill urban abode is called Community, and is located in the Martin Building + Flats on 4th and Olive. The building is constructed in a way to encourage a sense of belonging to the community of people who live there, as well as to the community within which it's located.
Yes, there's a pool in the courtyard, and yes there is kind of a Melrose Place feel to the layout of the building. But with apartments going from about $800 to $1,500/month (including utilities!) this building is bound to actually attract people interested in working and living in an urban environment, instead of those willing to pay a lot just to pretend they are.
What makes the Community a community? First, there's the sense that the people who live there will be interested in similar political, philosophical, and cultural issues. For instance, environmentalism and ‘green' concerns play a big part in the Community - from the construction materials used (recycled whenever possible), to the bikes available for use by those who live there, to the garden plots available for planting.
The lead designer behind the Community is Michael Soriano – the same innovator responsible for the retro-chic appeal of LWP Inc.’s Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
The developers of Community are also considering hosting monthly events in the building that may feature talks by local artists or demonstrations by local chefs. Second, Community's location in the heart of Banker's Hill means that its inhabitants are in close proximity to Balboa Park, Hillcrest, and the downtown core, as well as being only a short jaunt from North Park, South Park, and Golden Hill. By keeping these neighborhoods local and easily accessible, Community dwellers connect to an urban San Diego, support it, and become a part of it (if they weren't already).
Ranging in size from a bachelor's paradise (350 square feet) to a comparable mini-mansion (1,000 square feet), the refurbished buildings offer hardwood floors and old charm. While a hard day at the office may mean that you are looking forward to going home and shutting the door to the world, don't feel that your space is limited to the 350 square feet housing your 50 pairs of shoes.
Community developers have refurbished the building so that floor landings, areas around the pool, and a spot on the roof offer spaces for lounging and taking advantage of the free wi-fi. The building's hallways are lined with works by Acamonchi, and unexpected creative touches from the chalkboard at the entrance to the shoe-fitti installation piece instill a sense of grander living than one's rent might imply.
That's not to say however, that little luxuries aren't available; while the draw of Community might be its authentic urban spaces (both in the building and as a part of the city), urban living doesn't have to be all grit and edge. An off-site concierge service is available for all residents who need those last-minute reservations, or access to neighborhood services at a discount for Community residents.
San Diego is transforming from a large beach town into an urban city with pockets of beach town appeal. While the surf report is still an important component of many major radio broadcasts, bicycles and vespas are becoming a ubiquitous part of the city's landscape, and are more conducive to lugging shopping bags and yoga mats than surfboards or kayaks. As more restaurants, galleries, and wine bars open and as more metro neighborhoods celebrate their urban cultures with nightly happenings, a community of like-minded urbanites is growing.
The new LWP Inc. Community in Banker's Hill offers these urbanites a place to live, but in a way that is forward thinking and new: a home (your apartment) within a home (your building that can be used as an extension of your apartment) within a home (an apartment building located in close proximity to all of the restaurants, bars, and services that you frequent).
It's time to lay out the welcome mat, the martini shaker, and your latest issue of bitch magazine… you're home.
Community is slated to open January 1, 2009. For leasing information, contact Lacy Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org, and download complete information about Community here.
Insider Tip: Greg Strangman is also the low-key mastermind behind such local lifestyle staples as Onyx Room and Thin, The Pearl Hotel. Other LWP Inc. successes include the Park Regency live/work lofts in Little Italy, Scripps Building live/work lofts in Gaslamp Quarter, and much more. LWP Inc. is also responsible for the innovative rhythm of Groove 24/7. For more info, visit lwpgroup.com.