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Artist Walk Hooks Investor with Fremont ACE Location

FREMONT, CA—The Bay Area maintains a strong development pipeline, with more than 28,000 units currently under construction, according to a second quarter multifamily report by Kidder Mathews. With more tenants seeking to live near transit-oriented areas, developers are keen to deliver units within these locations.

One of those developers, Danville, CA-based Blake|Griggs Properties, did just that with the Artist Walk multifamily development. The community is located across from the Altamont Commuter Express/ACE train station in Fremont, where trains carrying Silicon Valley employees can arrive in a mere 30 minutes.

Recently, Blake|Griggs and its investment partner, JD Capital USA, sold the property to Clarion Partners. Terms were undisclosed.

“Artist Walk is a poster child of smart transit-based development, located a block from the ACE train going to Silicon Valley and just two miles from BART,” said Brad Blake, managing partner of Blake|Griggs Properties. “Artist Walk is a rare, well-designed mixed-use community of housing, walkable shops and restaurants with a new private street through the property named ‘Artist Walk Common’ with connectivity to landscaped plazas and Fremont Boulevard.”

The fully leased 185-unit apartment property features amenities including a public courtyard, water-feature fountain and a 1,900-square-foot private community room available to community groups for art exhibits and meeting space. Artist Walk also has a pool, clubhouse, in-unit washer/dryers, 9-foot ceilings and private balconies in select units. Artist Walk’s 30,000 square feet of commercial space is fully leased to a collection of restaurant, service and fitness tenants.

“The Artist Walk project has been a catalyst for the revitalization of Fremont’s Centerville district and truly meets the city’s vision of adding transit-oriented, walkable urban living supported by fantastic retail amenities,” says Lily Mei, Fremont mayor.

As the fourth largest city in the Bay Area, Fremont’s 220,000-person population provides the Centerville neighborhood in which Artist Walk is located with an active trade area serving a highly educated residential base and strong employment across a number of industries.

“Artist Walk is a great example of a public-private partnership between the city, the community and the developer,” Blake tells GlobeSt.com. “The city’s goal was to create new, denser housing in a transit-rich location in order to ignite the renaissance of the historic Centerville District. Like so many technology-driven Bay Area cities, Fremont has generated tremendous job growth and needs to create housing in all areas of the city to serve its major employers and help mitigate the overall affordability issue.”

Cushman & Wakefield arranged the transaction.

Indeed, the Bay Area remains an economic powerhouse, fueled by a strong technology industry and employment, and as such, the multifamily market has maintained strong rent growth since 2010, says the Kidder Mathews report. The average monthly asking rate of $2,765 was up 2.3% from the previous year.