The 5 second commute

With commutes getting longer and longer, the live-where-you-work concept gains steam in California


LA QUINTA, CA The live/work concept is gaining steam in California, especially in urban areas where higher density for-sale housing is being developed. Now the idea of living and working in the same place is finding its way into apartment communities where some apartments have adjacent work space for a resident to maintain an office or retail outlet.

Pioneering the concept is the Silverhawk Apartment community in La Quinta, where the first live/work resident, La Quinta Insurance, recently moved in. Silverhawk, built by G Companies and managed by Mesa Management, Inc., both based in Newport Beach, offers 12 apartment lofts with space designed for office or retail use either directly below or adjacent to apartments.

“Because of the popularity of the live/work arrangement, we thought the concept might work nicely in an apartment community such as Silverhawk, especially considering the fact that the community faces onto Eisenhower Drive, which is a major retail and commercial street in La Quinta,” said Patrick Antrim, director of Mesa Management.

“Silverhawk made our move to the Coachella Valley easier since we didn’t have to find office space and a separate apartment to lease,” Barneson said. “We believe this is a great new market for us and the location on Eisenhower Drive is perfect. This is everything we need
in one neat package.”

La Quinta Insurance account manager Anna Marie Hernandez, relocated from another office to manage the Silverhawk office, lives in a two-bedroom apartment directly above the new office. “Living upstairs has made my life so much simpler,” she said. “Back in Whittier, I had to commute back and forth from my home in Cypress, which was about an hour each way. Now, I walk upstairs.”

Barneson said he is making an even bigger commitment to La Quinta. In addition to opening the new office, he and his wife own a home “down the street” where they plan on retiring in six or seven years.

Silverhawk spans 214 apartments including the work/live units. The live/work apartments are 2-bedroom, 2-bath units with 930 square feet, all above commercial space that can be subdivided to suit a tenant’s needs. There are also two 670-square-foot studio apartments on the ground level contiguous to the commercial space.

The Silverhawk commercial space is also leased separately from the apartments. At present, the retail space also includes a day spa and coffee and bagel store.

Mesa Management, owned by G Companies, manages more than 2,300 rental units, including 1,550 units in Southern California. The company’s apartment communities are more than 99 percent occupied.

G Companies has developed 10,000 single-family homes, condominiums, and town homes, as well as more than 5,000 multifamily and senior units and several commercial/retail/office buildings, various ranch properties, golf courses, and wineries throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and New York.