SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Calvera Partners, a California-based private real estate investment firm, sold pksl (pronounced “pixel”), a 37-unit apartment building located at 1090 Sunnyvale Saratoga Rd. in Sunnyvale, CA, for $15.7 million ($424,000 per unit), an 89% increase over the building’s acquisition price of $8.325 million in January 2014.
Home base to the original tech darlings Atari, AMD and Yahoo, the pksl project was the transformation of a 1960s-era apartment complex, formerly known as Crestview Terrace. With a mission to reposition underperforming properties with creative and authentic brands, high value tenant amenities, and modern design, pksl underwent a major transformation.
“This community underwent the most significant physical change of any property we’ve owned,” said David Saxe, managing principal at Calvera Partners. “It was in disrepair when we took ownership and needed a major renovation and image upgrade. We spent more than $2.5 million renovating the property both inside and out to create a community that is modern, interesting, and functional for today’s renter.”
Sunnyvale was the birthplace of Atari and modern video gaming. Atari’s iconic wood grain gaming console and the highly pixelated video game characters provided the imagination behind the design. Much like the boutique hotel industry, which is the company’s source of inspiration, Calvera created a sense of place and community in a building that lacked those characteristics.
“We created a tenant lounge out of an old mailroom, commissioned an artist for a mural at the pool, and opened up the patios to a new courtyard to encourage connection among neighbors,” said Saxe. “These attributes made pksl stand out in a very crowded apartment market. With design flair, creative outdoor and communal spaces, architect-chosen details, and a color scheme bursting with energy and promise, pksl’s refreshed residences challenged the notion of what renting in Silicon Valley could be.”
The sale fits into Calvera Partners’ larger vision and strategy, which is to provide accredited investors with direct access to smarter opportunities in high growth markets. By repositioning underperforming properties, it allows the company to better attract today’s renter who wants to live in a tech-savvy, cutting edge, and hip apartment building yet not pay new construction rents.
“Our vision sets our properties apart from our peers and establishes cachet rivaling new apartments,” said Saxe. “As much as we’d love to hold the property forever, we received an offer that fully recognizes the work we put into the building and this sale will generate a substantial return for our investors in less time than anticipated.”