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Partner Spotlight: Marks Architects


Marks Architects has built a reputation for cost-effective solutions and dedication to making a positive impact through quality innovative design.

Marks Architects has grown into a robust professional architectural team serving California, Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Virginia. They offer a range of comprehensive services to their clients. Most notably, they have created national rollout designs, prototypes, and unique designs for some of the most recognizable major restaurant corporations. With a reputation for their dedication to making each project better than its predecessor, it’s clear that Marks Architects puts a little “love” in every project they work on. They strive to make a positive impact through their innovative and cost-effective designs. With extensive experience designing buildings for foodservice, this highly entrepreneurial organization is constantly working on individual and national corporate projects with projects ranging from renovations and tenant improvements to freestanding projects.

Marks architects


As the leader of the project development team, Mark Architects makes many decisions concerning the site plans. “They are excellent to work with. They get it right the first time when it comes to site plans. That consistency helps consultants complete the necessary drawings on schedule, and ultimately saves the client time and money,” said Aaron Albertson, Principal at CDR. “Marks Architects are among the best I’ve seen at what they do, proven by their successful leadership of consultants that consistently meet deadlines, milestones, submittal dates, and plan check return dates.” 

When it comes to working together with Commercial Development Resources, there couldn’t be a better partnership. “When Marks Architects and CDR get together, we’re the ‘A-Team.’ Together we have tackled challenging projects that others would probably have walked away from. We sit down and lay things out in a plethora of different ways until we get it right. We do whatever it takes,” said Gabriela Marks. “We make a great team,” Albertson remarked. “Our teams work well together which richly benefits the client by reducing their schedule times and limiting change orders.”

With fewer and fewer undeveloped sites in Southern California, the projects CDR and Marks Architects work on vary in their levels of difficulty, however, the majority seem to have significant challenges. One of the more strenuous hurdles to the development of many of these sites is off-site street improvements in the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Right-of-Way (ROW). CDR and Marks Architects work together making every effort to reduce the impact of Caltrans requirements and timelines.  Caltrans improvements are extremely expensive and may include traffic signals, bike lanes, center medians, left and/or right turn lanes, and other upgrades. 

On a recent project, Marks Architects and CDR were tasked with designing a quick-service restaurant (QSR) on a site several consultants “passed on” as it had too many design and permitting obstacles.  “On the civil engineering side of the project, the site had two frontages that were Caltrans ROW requiring full highway improvements, a third side required full street improvements through Riverside County Transportation,” said Albertson.  “The site also has over 30’ of fall from one corner to the other, this made drive entrances and drive-thru very challenging to provide suitable slopes for customer experience.  As if that weren’t enough, there were significant dedications required which reduced the parcel size limiting what could be done with the site plan.  Despite the challenges in site planning, grading, and permitting, we worked closely with Marks Architects to get it done.  We turned lemons into lemonade!”

CDR appreciates the partnership they have built with Marks Architects and is proud of the service they are able to offer their clients. It is clear from speaking with Aaron, that Marks Architects are standouts in their field. They make every project personal, dedicating themselves to cost-effective solutions, and making projects move as quickly as possible. Gabriela Marks described the nature of this partnership the best, when she said, “We pride ourselves on making the project a little bit prettier than its predecessor. It’s going to look better, it’s going to layout better, it’s going to have better visibility, and it’s going to function better. We call it putting the “love” in the project, and we do that for everybody.”

Marks Architects have locations in San Diego and Palm Springs. For more information you can visit their website at

Here are a few projects CDR and Marks Architects have successfully completed:


Popeye’s & Denny’s – Commercial Development Resources (

Taco Bell Anaheim – Commercial Development Resources (

Taco Bell La Verne – Commercial Development Resources (

Popeye’s San Diego – Commercial Development Resources (

Jack in the Box Lake Elsinore – Commercial Development Resources (