SANTA ROSA, CA-Opus West Corp. is winding up construction of a 120-unit, high-end apartment community here. The first 30 to 50 units of the Boulders at Fountaingrove will be available for occupancy later this month and the entire complex will be complete before the end of the year.The property is located south of Fountaingrove Parkway along Altruria Drive, near Frances Nielsen Park and the Fountaingrove Resort and Country Club. Rental rates will start at $1,400 for one-bedroom, one-bath units totaling 865 sf and rise to more than $2,000 per month for 1,420-sf units with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Property manager Woodmont Real Estate Services is offering one month free with a 12-month commitment. The Boulders is the second apartment home community in the Santa Rosa area for Opus West and follows the successful completion and leasing of the Overlook at Fountaingrove, a nearby and similarly high-end 78-unit development that opened 18 months ago and is now 95% leased. An Opus representative tells that the properties were acquired together in August 2001. At the time, the Overlook was under construction and the Boulders was land that had been partially entitled for the project. The acquisition was Opus’ first foray into multifamily development, and the company has since completed developments in Emeryville, CA, Phoenix and Southern California.Each unit will have high-end countertops, cabinetry, wood laminate flooring and fully appointed kitchens with black appliances, as well as multiple data wiring for telephone, video and internet services. Opus West’s VP of real estate development Randy Ackerman says he expects the Boulders to appeal to the “new breed” of renter, which can often afford to purchase a home but chooses to rent based on convenience, services and extra amenities, such as the Boulder’s swimming pool, spa and fitness center.An Opus representative declined to comment on the cost of the project. The only other high-end apartment property in Santa Rosa is Acacia, a 277-unit development by Aliso Viejo, CA-based Shea Properties located on Highway 12 at Mission Boulevard. Published reports put the total development cost of that project at $44 million, or about $158,000 per unit. One local broker familiar with both properties tells that the Boulders, at less than half that size, was likely more expensive to build. The broker says Shea paid the equivalent of about $27,000 per door for its land, which was the high-water mark until reportedly Opus paid closer to $35,000 per door for its land. “Opus set new levels for what developers are willing to pay for dirt in Sonoma County,” he says.

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