Novato-based 2K, a video-game publishing label of New York-based Take-Two Interactive Software (Nasdaq: TTWO), is expanding its North Bay development studios for the second time in the past several months. The company has leased nearly 15,000-square-feet of warehouse space on Cypress Drive in Petaluma that is being transformed into a motion-capture studio, or "mocap" in industry lingo.
A company spokesman declined to comment further on the project.
Motion capture is a method used in movies and video games to provide natural-looking movements for computer-generated characters. Cameras and instruments capture movements of actors, who commonly wear suits with special markers on them to track motion. In the past few years, 2K publicly has touted its mocap work with sports celebrities at the Novato studios.
Last fall, 2K expanded its headquarters and two development studios by 30 percent at the Hamilton Landing office park in Novato. [See "Game publisher makes big Novato expansion," Oct. 1.]***
[caption id="attachment_73045" align="alignleft" width="270"] HybridCore Homes founders Shaun Faber, Otis Orsburn and Kevin Farrell received a National Modular Housing Council award in April.[/caption]
Santa Rosa-based HybridCore Homes is garnering orders and building industry accolades for its factory-built room modules designed significantly reduce onsite construction time and trades scheduling.
The company has several hundred modules in planing or production for Midwest and California projects, according to Otis Orsburn, vice president of construction. HybridCore (hybridcorehomes.com) is designing and consultating on apartment projects in the rapidly growing North Dakota city of Williston. The first phase of Prairie Vista Apartments will have 81 units with 72 modules, called "Cores," when completed this year. The second phase is expected to follow soon thereafter with 324 apartments and 312 Cores.
[caption id="attachment_73046" align="alignright" width="270"] This Los Altos house was built around a large HybridCore module.[/caption]
Potential projects include 24 apartments with 40 Cores in LaCrosse, Wis., and three single-family homes in Austin.
Other jobs in the pipeline are three single-family homes in San Jose, one in Palo Alto, one in Truckee. In the North Bay pipeline are six Windsor homes, one in Sonoma, one northeast of Santa Rosa, two projects with Calistoga Affordable Housing and a 60-plus-townhome development.
"As new home construction gets back on the radar, we are getting calls daily about using the HybridCore Homes methodology of homebuilding," Mr. Orsburn said.
He said one contractor told him use of the modules will allow him to build six homes a year instead of three.
"Some have been doing house flips and now see an opportunity to get back into the homebuilding business," Mr. Orsburn said.
Because of such builder inquiries, HybridCore will be holding a "certified builder course" May 22 and 23 in Santa Rosa to discuss potential efficiencies and cost reduction with the Cores, how to estimate costs with such preengineered building components and nuances of installation. Registration costs $350 and is available at 707-523-3673 ext. 109. A simpler course for real estate agents is planned for June.
On April 16, the National Modular Housing Council gave HybridCore the Best New Home Design in the 2,200-plus-square-foot category for a Los Altos home built around a Core with a kitchen, bathrooms, furnace, millwork and plumbing.***
Spaceship-like Aptera 2e three-wheeled electric roadsters may begin rolling out of a downtown Santa Rosa industrial facility to buyers, now that the city of Santa Rosa has agreed to allow assembly of vehicles there. A year ago China-based Jonway Group, a major investor in Santa Rosa-based Zap Jonway, acquired intellectual property of the much-anticipated Aptera project and announced plans to assemble China-made parts in Santa Rosa. [See "Santa Rosa said to be home for reborn Aptera electric roadster," May 7, 2012.]