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IRVINE, CA-Shea Properties of Aliso Viejo, CA has completed its new 177-unit Calypso apartment complex, which includes apartments and lofts ranging from 605 sf to 1,448 sf at rents of $1,695 to $3,340. Shea says that leasing and move-ins have started at the new development, which is situated at the intersection of Jamboree Road and Alton Parkway in Irvine.

The series of five-story buildings that form the Calypso, which is so-named for a design theme that evokes the Caribbean Islands, was designed by Architects of Orange. The complex was planned with urbanites in mind, according to Steve Gilmore, a senior vice president at Shea.

Irvine, once strictly a suburban city, has evolved into an urban center in recent years, and Gilmore says that the Calypso’s location and design have that evolution in mind. Calypso’s location in the heart of Irvine provides easy access to freeways, work centers, dining, shopping, entertainment and beach communities, Gilmore says.

Gilmore notes that the Calypso is just minutes from the District, one of Orange County’s premier shopping, entertainment and dining destinations. Also nearby is Legacy Park, Shea’s 820-acre mixed-use community being developed on the site of the former Tustin Marine Corps Air Station. Some of the common area amenities at the Calypso are a resort-style pool and spas with cabanas and Wi-fi; a clubhouse with plasma TVs, a Wi-fi lounge and gaming tables; and a fitness center with cardio and weight training equipment.

Prospects for the Calypso and other Orange County apartment buildings look optimistic this year, according to the latest research by Marcus & Millicahp, which says that the market “will remain one of the tightest in the nation again this year,” thanks to continuing demand amid relatively little new construction. However, the report forecasts that vacancy will rise during the course of the year, which will drive owners to slow rent growth. Marcus & Millichap forecasts asking rents to increase 3.3% this year compared with a 5.6% increase last year, with vacancy “expected to trend up 110 basis points in 2008 to a still-tight 4.7%.

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