California Apartment Building Named Community of the Year in National Design Competition

Press Release

Malden Station, an apartment building next to a Metrolink train station and Fullerton, California’s SOCO cultural district, was named the Multifamily Community of the Year in the 2017 Best in American Living Awards (BALA) today by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The project design mirrors and contributes to the young, edgy and artistic culture of Fullerton. Built on the site of a former citrus packing house dating from Orange County’s agricultural era, Malden Station backs onto the former Santa Fe Railway tracks and the newer Metrolink passenger rail station.

The building’s exterior evokes the evolution of the city in three materials: the red brick of its industrial past, siding for its trendy present, and acrylic paneling for its lively future. Large murals facing the railway pay homage to the city’s history. Lounge chairs on rails and ornamental box cars on tracks take up the railway theme.

The adjacent Metrolink station, the nearby SOCO District with its array of restaurants, entertainment venues and bicycle shop, and the building’s onsite amenities, including a clubroom, pool, spa, gym, lounge and shops, encourage a lifestyle less dependent on the automobile.

“Malden Station has a nice street presence and fun elements that give it character,” said Tom Kopf, NAHB 2017 Judging chair and 2017 Best in American Living Awards subcommittee chair. “The project has had an outstanding impact on the community.”

The project was designed by Architects Orange of Orange, Calif., interior designer Hibner Design Group of Irvine, Calif., and landscape architect Sitescapes Landscape Architecture of Costa Mesa, Calif. It was built by CW Driver of Pasadena, Calif., and developed by Pinnacle Living of Irvine.

In its 34th year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

Additional information about the 2017 BALA winners, including photographs of the projects, can be found at