A Real Estate Developer For The Next Generation

By the time it was completed last year, and its wealthy owners began occupying their sprawling new homes, The Pacific, a luxury condominium in San Francisco, had already begun getting buzz in real estate circles.

It wasn’t just that the 76-unit building sits in Pacific Heights, an affluent district lined with blocks of elegant mansions and upscale restaurants and boutiques. Or the tower’s eye-popping prices which rise to $20m for a two-story penthouse with a wraparound terrace with Golden Gate Bridge views. A 3-bedroom residence in the building recently fetched $8,96m, the highest amount per square foot for a condo in the city.

Instead, much of the buzz surrounding the project had to do with its developer, Trumark Urban, and the man behind one of the most active real estate firms in the country, Arden Hearing.

“In our experience research and outreach gives us tremendous insight into building luxury products with the buyer in mind,” Mr. Arden says from his light-filled office in San Francisco. “The market dynamics help dictate how we develop projects, but we also recognize the importance of building for people.”

After joining Trumark Companies in 2006, Mr. Hearing launched Trumark Urban in 2012 and quickly helped elevate the firm to one of the most successful developers in the country.

With a passion for curating a property as much as building one, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design alum has also worked hard at enhancing the surrounding communities of his projects.

“Encouraging community involvement has always been a hallmark of this company,”  says Mr. Hearing, who often juggles working on four to five projects at one time. “We challenge ourselves to think creatively about challenges and their solutions.”

Some of that creative thinking can be found at The Pacific.

Designed by Handel Architects,  the former dentistry school has a mixed portfolio of residences including flats, town homes, triplexes and two-story penthouses. Covered with a new champagne color stainless steel, the residences are characterized by generous floor plans, soaring ceiling heights and floor-to-ceiling windows. More than 50 of its 76 units have sold, Trumark says. The condos range from about 1,000 to 4,000 square feet, with pricing starting at just under $2m.

Beyond The Pacific, which is still one of the only large-scale condo projects in Pacific Heights, the company’s portfolio includes more than 700 condo units currently in the pipeline in San Francisco.

Among them is Rowan, a 70-unit project opened last year at the eastern edge of the trendy Mission District. Handel Architects designed the 57m condominium. The company is also developing Knox, a 91-unit, $75 million project in Dogpatch, a former gritty, working-class neighborhood that has experienced rapid transformation since the 1990s. It’s expected to be completed later this year.

 “We’re really committed to being in San Francisco where other people are not,” Mr. Hearing told the San Francisco Business Times. The paper recently selected him as Dealmaker of the Year, citing the company’s breadth of projects and ability to win approvals with neighborhood support in a city often fiercely opposed to new building. “We spend a lot of time finding ways to partner with the local community to lift up” the sites where they build, which are often underused property, Mr. Hearing added.

The company is also seeing success with it’s new condo project in Los Angeles. About 60 percent of the units inside Ten50 in Downtown LA have already sold, Mr. Hearing says. The 25-story condo tower in the South Park neighborhood includes a private screening room, private dining, a resort-style pool and spa. The project is also likely the first to come with a heliport for drone deliveries. The building is expected to sale-out by the end of the year, Hearing says.

Trumark Urban’s success comes as San Francisco’s luxury housing market continues to grow, thanks in large part to the booming tech industry. The city was ranked the No. 1 hottest market in the U.S. in December 2016 and January 2017 according to Realtor.com.

Despite the good environment, Mr. Hearings says Trumark benefits best from approaching each project in a unique way.

“A strong real estate market is obviously helpful for delivery luxury product,” he says. “But for us, the critical component is being able to offer a timeless and unique product executed at the highest level.”

Troy McMullen

Sneak peek of the Pacific Heights condo project
Enjoy Life at the Height of Luxury
The Pacific