Advanced Real Estate Services

The recession may have hit the real estate market particularly hard in Southern California, but it would be difficult to make that claim based on the performance of Advanced Real Estate Services’ (ARES) portfolio. The investment company and property manager owns and operates more than $1 billion in multifamily residential properties. This portfolio consists of more than 6,000 rental units in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

It’s this commitment to long-term investment that has kept ARES aggressive during these uncertain times. Along with constantly upgrading and renovating its residential properties with its construction division, R3, ARES is about to break ground on new developments to grab more market share within the swelling pool of renters.

The long-term commitment to its properties and the dedication to maintain and renovate its assets stems from the family atmosphere nurtured at ARES. Director Paul Julian says when his father, Richard, founded the company in 1980, he focused on income property and development within a manageable geographic reach for long-term profitability – a strategy the company still maintains today.

“Our long-term hold philosophy promotes quality construction and quality renovations,” Paul Julian says. “When you are holding a property for the long term, you want to install high-quality, durable products and finishes. These not only last, but also look great and keep repair and maintenance costs down.”

Calling all Equestrians

ARES has received entitlements to begin construction on The Meadows at San Juan Capistrano, a 154-acre, mixed-use development in this affluent region of California. The development will include 94 single-family houses, a 500-horse equestrian center, 130 multifamily units, and 85,000 square feet of commercial retail space. Another family member, Vice President Robb Cerruti (Richard Julian’s son-in-law) leads this project and says ARES hopes to break ground on the development next summer.

Julian says the layout of the development is set up like a high-end golf course community, with the equestrian center serving as the centerpiece surrounded by luxury homes. He also says the area is perfect for this type of development since many residents in the region own horses and enjoy the nearby equestrian trail system, which runs from the property to the Pacific Ocean. The homes themselves will be designed in Spanish mission style, which will blend with the surrounding structures.

“This city is considered the equestrian capital of the West Coast, and people are prideful of the horses. This development is a perfect fit for the community,” Julian says.

It Takes a Villa

ARES also is developing a high-end condominium development in Corona del Mar, Calif. AERIE will consist of seven luxury villas set atop a bluff in the Newport Beach community of Corona del Mar. With price points in the $10 million range, each unit will have a view from Laguna Beach to Catalina along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Residents also will have access to a private cove and boat docks near the entrance of Newport Harbor.

The project sits on about 1.4 acres and will occupy about 51,000 square feet, and each unit averages about 4,600 square feet. Along with the beach and docks, residents will have a community pool and recreation area. Individual units also will have the option for media rooms and wine cellars.

Julian says the project’s design will earn at least LEED Silver certification, if not a higher designation. After breaking ground in January 2012, the project should be completed after a 26-month schedule. 

Controlling Costs

ARES launched its R3 construction arm about seven years ago to avoid the bottlenecks of the booming construction industry at the time, and control costs when renovating its bevy of assets. This company and the management firm are led by Frank Holloway, who has been a partner with Richard Julian for 30 years.

Today, R3’s capabilities allow ARES to self-perform every aspect of its renovation projects.

“When a unit is set for renovation, our automated system outlines all the materials needed for the job and those items our pulled from our inventoried warehouse,” Julian says.

To date, Julian estimates R3 has saved ARES approximately 35 percent on its renovation expenditures while cutting two weeks off the lead time for a full renovation.

Those savings and efficient operations undoubtedly will come in handy as ARES eyes additional expansion. “Our vision is to continue to expand in our primary areas of Orange and Los Angeles counties but also look into nearby Southern California markets such as North Los Angeles and San Diego,” Julian says. “These are areas we know, that are still in close proximity to our construction hub and which lend themselves to our time-proven process.”

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