New home building is finally showing signs of life around the Valley with several projects underway or in the planning stages, including one that will bring a taste of Manhattan-style living to the well-heeled.
The projects are in Sylmar, Winnetka and Woodland hills.
Santa Clarita-based Williams Homes Inc. is doing two of them.
The company has just broken ground on Foothill 74, a three-acre community of 74 three-story townhomes in the 11300 block of Foothill Boulevard, and Agave, a 64-unit single-family home development is under construction on a 5.5-acre parcel on Winnetka Boulevard south of Parthenia Street that has been vacant for years.
And Canoga Park-based California Home Builders has bought 3.2 acres at the northeast corner of Variel Avenue and Erwin Street adjacent to the new Millennium Woodland Hills for a 232-unit multi-family hip, urban mixed-use project with some over-the-top amenities.
Looks like our Valley still has some cache.
“We made this bet about two years ago,” Keith Herren, Williams’ executive vice president and chief development officer, said of the decision to develop the Winnetka property. “We like the San Fernando Valley and we like the City of Los Angeles. There is unlimited demand (for housing.) There’s going to be ups and downs and bumps in the (economy), but we’re in L.A. and there is always going to be demand with 11 million people.”
The parcel, adjacent to the Ivy Bound Academy, had a small, brown, vacant home on it and was a farm for years.
The majority of the homes will be on 3,000-square-foot lots, but a few will have a slightly bigger footprint.
Model homes are being built now, and the plan is to get them on the market as quickly as possible.
The two-story homes will be about 2,465 square feet and have three to five bedrooms.
They will be priced in the mid-$400,000 to low $500,000 range, just below the current median price of a re-sale Valley home.
“We’ll have some available for people in about thee months,” Herren said.
He doesn’t think the time-on-market will be very long.
“If you price them right and price them fair they will go very fast, and if you overprice them they will go very slow,” he said.
Williams’ Foothill 74 townhomes will have floor plans ranging from four bedrooms with 1,738 square feet to five bedrooms with 1,901 square feet.
They will be priced in the high $300,000 range with sales starting in January.
Probably the most unique project, and likely the first of its kind in the Valley, is the Warner Center plans of California Home Builders that will complete the build-out of the former Panavision site.
Warner Center is a trendy, hip place where the phrase “luxury living” is a conversation condiment.
Shawn Evenhaim, the company’s founder and CEO, wants to kick it up a notch at the complex that will probably include apartments.
And the Valley doesn’t yet have what’s on his mind.
“This is something I’ve really wanted to do for the last 20 years,” he said. “The Valley doesn’t really have any kind of luxury living.”
He’s thinking Manhattan style.
The complex will have a concierge, valet parking, car service to take tenants to various destinations in the area, a restaurant, bar, grocery store and some live-work space for people who have their own business.
“You will be able to order (food) to your (dining) room. The residents of the building will have all the comforts of luxury,” he said. “We believe this will be an attraction for the whole area.”
He’s planning to start construction sometime early next year.