Nimble and focused, Trumark Homes and Trumark Urban together have raised more than $340 million of equity since 2009, and have a combined pipeline exceeding 5,600 units in core infill areas of California, representing more than $3.8 billion in future revenue. The company’s focus as a new-generation builder is on core infill locations in significantly undersupplied housing markets. SL70, Trumark’s new 70-home development on a previously vacant corner bordering the Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods in Los Angeles, is a perfect example of how Trumark’s thoughtful housing developments can spark neighborhood renewal.
The community, which opened this summer, is located on 2.34 acres on Glendale Boulevard just south of the 2 Freeway in a chic, up-and-coming but underserved area of Silver Lake/Echo Park. It’s within a convenient commute to downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood and close to schools, public transportation, shopping and recreation. Griffith Park and Dodgers Stadium are nearby, and Silver Lake Reservoir is within walking distance. A thriving neighborhood subculture includes vintage and locally designed clothing stores, food trucks and kitschy establishments such as Cha Cha Lounge, and other great restaurants and bars. The area is prime for continued rehabilitation and growth in both residential housing and a resurgence of retail, restaurants and entertainment.
“We chose to build this project because it represents everything Trumark stands for as a new generation builder,” said Michael Maples, principal and co-founder of Trumark Homes. “The lack of new inventory, the limited development sites and the over-abundance of old fixer-uppers will make these new homes in this fantastic community very attractive. Not only is the property in one of Los Angeles’ most desirable and creative neighborhoods, but it is close to employment hubs and other popular areas.”
In SL70, Maples and his team immediately spotted an opportunity to build a well-planned, design-centric development that would appeal to Gen X and Gen Y adults who want to invest in a modern home in an urban neighborhood without a ridiculous price tag.
“The neighborhood’s proximity to Hollywood, downtown and Studio City make SL70 a natural fit for professionals of all types who want to live close in, but not too close,” said Mark Higgins, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Trumark Homes. “This demographic already makes up a large portion of homeowners and residents in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz/Echo Park neighborhoods, and they’re showing strong interest in our offering.”
Trumark was careful to reflect the existing neighborhood’s culture while striving to create a vibrant community on an otherwise stagnant, vacant parcel of land. SL70 is attracting residents who will re-energize local business and retail while shaping the emerging neighborhood. During the development phase, Trumark met with and filmed local neighbors and businesses, which are featured on the SL70 website – SL70.com. “It was most important to pay attention to our demographic and psychographic,” Higgins said. “Integrating within the community is important to Trumark.”
Trumark carefully analyzed and considered the Silver Lake/Echo Park buyer profile when creating SL70’s exteriors and interior living spaces. “The unique urban design of these homes fits seamlessly with our buyers’ busy lifestyles with low-maintenance living that takes full advantage of entertaining space overlooking the downtown skyline and surrounding hillside views,” Maples said.
SL70 is located on the site of the former Selig Polyscope Studio, which opened in 1909 as Los Angeles’ first permanent movie-making facility and was eventually surrounded by a string of other silent-film studios on Glendale Boulevard. Trumark is honoring Selig Polyscope with a mural created by internationally acclaimed muralists Cyrcle and streets with names such as Silent Era Drive, Polyscope Place and Tom Mix Road.
In developing the property, Trumark teamed up with long-term equity partner The Resmark Companies to bring to life the City of Los Angeles’ Small Lot Ordinance, established in 2005, which allows for the subdivision of underutilized land in multifamily and commercial areas into fee-simple homes. Intended to encourage infill development and a smart-growth alternative to traditional suburban-style single-family subdivisions, the ordinance allows homes to have smaller lot areas with compact building footprints and reduced yard setbacks, street frontages, passageways between buildings and open space.
This greater flexibility in lot sizes allowed Trumark to keep SL70 homes affordable, with prices starting in the high $500,000s. (The median home price in Los Angeles is currently $590,000, according to the Zillow Home Value Index.)
JZMK Partners designed the contemporary three-story detached homes, which range in size from 1,219 to 1,469 square feet and have two or three bedrooms, two and a half baths, large rooftop terraces on most floorplans, open living rooms with 10-foot ceilings, contemporary staircases, and oversized windows that create a grand feeling not typically found in homes of this size. Gourmet kitchens feature premium appliances, quartz countertops and contemporary European cabinetry, and bathrooms have cultured marble countertops and chrome finish faucets. All homes are pre-wired with Category 5 wiring.
Building sustainably is important to Trumark, and that commitment is reflected in SL70’s construction. The well-insulated homes have energy-saving tankless water heaters and aluminum-framed windows with low-E glass. All homes are pre-wired for future solar installations, and two-car garages include conduits for electric vehicle charging.
Unique undulation in building facades and bright pops of color make the exteriors stand out, and Trumark’s design team furnished model interiors with out-of-the-box furnishings (including vintage and original pieces from local artists) that are unlike anything potential residents would find in a model home. “The individuality of each home is clear from the moment you walk in the door,” Higgins said.
Trumark Homes is a division of The Trumark Group of Companies, a diversified real estate developer and builder with expertise in land acquisition, homebuilding, community design, entitlements and office R&D and retail development. SL70 has been an important project as the company continues to learn and hone its skills as a nimble, high-density builder.
“This development has inspired Trumark to create something new and fresh in a highly demanding market,” Maples said. “SL70 showcases our ability to dive into a niche market and create a community that is uniquely designed for the target buyer.”
Marco Martinez is an assistant editor at Builder and Developer magazine. He may be contacted at email@example.com