Launch Slideshow

urban outfitter

Sebastian Mariscal develops, designs, and builds—one project at a time.

urban outfitter

Sebastian Mariscal develops, designs, and builds—one project at a time.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6424%2Etmp_tcm48-259542.jpg

    true

    600

    Hisao Suzuki

    Mariscal used his signature restrained palette on his own house, half of a duplex development. It's clad in simple materials like ipe and embraces the outdoors with large glass doors.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp642B%2Etmp_tcm48-259514.jpg

    true

    600

    Hisao Suzuki

    Mariscal used his signature restrained palette on his own house, half of a duplex development. It's clad in simple materials like ipe and embraces the outdoors with large glass doors.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6423%2Etmp_tcm48-259535.jpg

    true

    600

    Danny Turner

    Sebastian Mariscal

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6425%2Etmp_tcm48-259549.jpg

    true

    600

    Hisao Suzuki

    The Billboard Lofts, Mariscal's largest development to date, packs 24 units into a 6,900-square-foot corner lot. The building consists of two volumes organized along 17-foot-high corridors with a staircase at each end. 

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6426%2Etmp_tcm48-259556.jpg

    true

    600

    Hisao Suzuki

    The Billboard Lofts, Mariscal's largest development to date, packs 24 units into a 6,900-square-foot corner lot. The building consists of two volumes organized along 17-foot-high corridors with a staircase at each end. 

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6427%2Etmp_tcm48-259563.jpg

    true

    600

    Hisao Suzuki

    Homeowners can let the outdoors in by opening folding glass panels.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6428%2Etmp_tcm48-259570.jpg

    true

    600

    Hisao Suzuki

    The half-dozen condos in Mariscal's Six project step down the site in a deliberate rhythm to preserve ocean views.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6429%2Etmp_tcm48-259577.jpg

    true

    600

    David Hewitt/Anne Garrison

    Mariscal's first San Diego development was two 2,750-square-foot homes on 25-foot-by-31-foot lots. He completed it while working with architect Jonathan Segal.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp642A%2Etmp_tcm48-259584.jpg

    true

    600

    Roberto Zeballos

    Mariscal's first San Diego development was two 2,750-square-foot homes on 25-foot-by-31-foot lots. He completed it while working with architect Jonathan Segal.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6421%2Etmp_tcm48-259521.jpg

    true

    600

    Hisao Suzuki

    Mariscal's design for these two inward-looking homes welcomes daylight while stifling nearby vehicle and airplane noise.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmp6422%2Etmp_tcm48-259528.jpg

    true

    600

    Roberto Zeballos

    The Cor-Ten steel and ceramic tile are installed as a ventilated facade to encourage natural cooling and energy efficiency. 

financial times

Strong design and felicitous floor plans are essential to a successful development project, but adequate financing is the fuel that makes the engine go. For newbie architect/developers, the first venture is the big leap of faith. “Once you learn the process, it's easy,” Sebastian Mariscal insists, “but the first one is always the most difficult, because you don't have any history.”

For his fledgling project, a two-unit development, Mariscal started small and partnered with an investor, David Baun. The project “was going to be my house and [Baun's] house, so there wasn't much risk to the bank,” Mariscal says. Still, he adds, “it was important to get it correct, on time, and on budget.” Now, Mariscal has developed an efficient system that works well for him: he works with the same banks, and partners with Baun on almost every project (although he brings in other investors when needed).

“As soon as we open escrow on a property, we need to work on the financing,” Mariscal explains. “I always prefer to buy the land with a construction loan—we save money by having just one loan.” That way, he and his team can simultaneously work on drawings, the pro forma, and a cost breakdown all at once, making the process more efficient.

“We like to start the entitlement process while we're in escrow,” he continues. That time, he adds, “can be very beneficial for completing all the preliminary studies, entitlements, and financing.”