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Bay CrossingsWorking Waterfront

Laurie Miskuski Promotes Waterfront Condos in Jack London Square Area

Laurie Miskuski is the Marketing Director for Crescent Heights, a national developer for predominantly high-rise luxury condominiums. A native of Vancouver, Canada, sheís a relative newcomer to the Bay Area. Bay Crossings spoke with Laurie about her previous career path, her current position with the Crescent Heights Company, and her move to the Bay Area.

My early years were spent in Vancouver, Canada. After studying criminology at Simon Fraser University, I thought Iíd become an attorney. Instead, I became a juvenile probation officer. My responsibilities ranged from drug treatment programs for parents to just trying to keep kids alive.

Working with the justice system left a really bad taste in my mouth. It was frustrating, and emotionally it was very difficult. I knew that if I wanted to have any sort of normal life, family life, it wasnít the right road for me to go down because I wasnít able to keep it at the office, as they say.

I started working with Crescent Heights a year or so after my stint in Florida. I started with the company in Los Angeles and worked there for about three years. I then spent almost a year in Chicago, before coming to the Bay Area.

I was brought here to work on The Sierra project at Jack London Square. Itís a new construction condominium project consisting of 221 homes. There are five commercial spaces on the ground floor, as well as 15 live/work lofts. The rest of the homes are condominiums. There are studios, one- and two-bedroom floor plans, and a few with three bedrooms. Itís a full-amenity building, meaning thereís a concierge in the lobby, a pool with a landscaped sundeck, state-of-the-art fitness center, business center, conference center, and a library. The facility also has a theater-style media room.

Everybody knows the cost of renting in the Bay Area is incredibly expensive. So, if you can own your own home for the same amount of money it costs to rent, or close to it, then it just makes sense to buy. Youíve got to live somewhere.

The Sierra will probably be the largest condo development of its kind in the Jack London Square area, bringing approximately 400 people into the neighborhood. That will drive a demand for more restaurants, shops, and services.

We certainly recognize that the economy is slow, but as everybody knows, housing real estate continues to be a wise investment, especially in an uneasy economy.

Weíve done a lot of research into plans for comprehensive regional ferry service, the one that calls for Jack London Square to become a service hub. Itís great because, while many of our homeowners will be coming from the East Bay, lots will also be coming from San Francisco. BART is just two blocks away, too, so people will have the option of jumping on BART or enjoying a beautiful water commute.

Typically, Crescent Heights tends to develop buildings on the waterfront. Part of the thinking behind that preference is the notion that lifeís all about the view. In Los Angeles, we had a project in Marina del Rey called The Regatta, which was also right on the water in Marina del Rey. There, like here with the Sierra, the attraction was a waterfront-living lifestyle. Basically, itís a relaxed style of living in an urban center.