Southern California Building Includes Work by Creator of Obama’s ‘Hope’ Election Poster

The Baker Block apartment property in Costa Mesa, California, has a large mural created by noted street artist Shepard Fairey. (Paul Vu/Cityview)

A 240-unit apartment property in Costa Mesa, California – featuring a large mural by Shepard Fairey, the artist behind former President Barack Obama’s iconic “Hope” campaign poster – sold in a $113.5 million deal, among the largest on record for Orange County at a per-unit price of $473,000.

The seller, Los Angeles-based investment and development firm Cityview, announced the sale of the property known as Baker Block, at 125 Baker Street East, to Baker Block Associates LP. CoStar data indicates the buyer is a limited partnership led by Kort & Scott Financial Group of Anaheim.

A statement from Cityview, which developed and opened the apartment property in late 2017, said the deal is among the largest for Orange County mid-rise apartments based on the price paid per unit. CoStar data shows the county’s largest per-unit price on record for a mid-sized property, that is 100 units or more, was the $783,023 per unit paid for a 134-unit Laguna Woods apartment complex purchased in September 2017 by four buyers including APG Asset Management and Ivanhoe Cambridge, at a total price of $104.9 million.

Orange County’s highest total price on record is the $241.8 million – $273,529 per unit – paid by Irvine Co. for a 1,279-unit property in the city of Orange in October 2010. During the past 12 months, Orange County had $1.1 billion in multifamily sales – down 41.3% from the prior year – at an average unit price of $373,000, according to CoStar data.

The 240-unit Baker Block apartments in Orange County traded for $113.5 million. (Paul Vu/Cityview)

Cityview officials said the buyer of Baker Block plans to hold the asset as a long-term investment and continue the property’s current operations. The property includes studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with amenities including a resort-style pool and fitness center.

Cityview executives said the property had become a local landmark after it developed and opened the property in December 2017 with partners including Red Oak Investments of Irvine.

The property has received several apartment industry awards for features, including its 8,000-square-foot mural. The mural, called “Welcome Home,” is billed as the largest in Orange County and was created by renowned street artist Fairey. Fairey’s Obey art and clothing company has its headquarters in nearby Irvine. He is perhaps best known for the “Hope” poster that became famous during Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign.

Developers said the mural at Baker Block, 136 feet long by 55 feet high, required more than 460 cans of spray paint to create its visuals which include floral patterns, geometric lines and shapes, palm trees and other nature elements, as well as a female figure.

“This piece in sum is a message of peace, independence, and the beauty and openness of humanity and nature,” Fairey said in a statement posted on Cityview’s Baker Block blog at the time of the development’s opening.

Richard Harmon

Richard Harmon

Richard Harmon offers a diverse set of skills to ensure the best real estate experience possible. Licensed in Texas Real Estate, Richard brings a solid background in commercial real estate. His expertise, knowledge, and experience helped build into a multimillion-dollar business as an owner, developer, and builder of commercial business.

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