Blogs

  • 07 Mar 2017 by BIASC - Staff

     

    Zaha Hadid, one of the most visionary architects of our time, died at age 65 in March 2016.

     

    Over the span of her career, the controversial and uncompromising architect created award-winning museums, condos, stadiums, and pavilions. In her last years, she took on a new challenge: designing a luxury condo complex over the High Line, Manhattan's famed elevated park.

     

    The new condo building will be impressive, with an intricate metal and glass facade sculpted piece by piece. Inside, the high-rise will boast a parking garage with an automatic vallet system and the city's first private 3D IMAX theater.

     

    Developer Related Companies broke ground in 2014. Samantha Zola, a spokesperson for the building, tells Business Insider that the building will open in June 2017. Approximately 50% of the units are in contract, according to StreetEasy.

     

    Since it was Hadid's first NYC building and one of her last designs, it will remain a testament to her legacy.

     

    Hadid, the first woman and Muslim to win the Pritzker Prize (widely considered the Nobel Prize of architecture), changed the industry forever with her futuristic buildings. 520 West 28th Street will serve as a testament to her creative vision. In 2016, Business Insider toured one of the model units.

     

    Check out the rest of those photos here.

  • 03 Mar 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    An Eagle Scout, professional dancers, and a former hotel manager are among this year’s array of home building superstars picked as 40 Under 40 winners by the editors of Professional Builder. Once again, several honorees cited surviving the great recession as one of their proudest achievements, while many others were notable for not only starting their companies but for also launching and growing more than one business during the recovery. 

     

    In addition to owners and principals, this class includes managers, team leaders, and associates who stood out as innovators because they found creative ways to cut overhead and enhance customer relationships; some even innovated by inventing apps or algorithms to simplify complex functions. Off the clock, these professionals are fighting blight, building homes for disabled veterans, mentoring low-income youth, and giving back to their communities by volunteering their many other services and talents. Listed below are the Californians who made the 40 Under 40 Class for 2017.

     

    Katherine Bardis, 29 

    President

    Bardis Homes

    Sacramento, Calif.

    Education

    • BA, Communication Studies, Loyola Marymount University; JD, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

    Accomplishments

    • Co-founded her company with cousin Rachel Bardis in 2012 and plans to build 100 new homes a year • Started one of Sacramento’s largest infill housing projects, The Mill at Broadway, which is expected to have more than 1,000 homes • Passed the California bar exam while also starting a business

    ExtraCurricular

    • Member of the North State Building Industry Association, Urban Land Institute, and InspireMidtown, a Sacramento community for female professionals • Volunteers for HomeAid and the National Charity League, a nonprofit leadership and service group of mothers and daughters

    Secret Life

    • Competed at the Grand Prix level in horse jumping • Family has built more than 45,000 homes over 50 years

     

     

    Katherine Bardis, 29 

    Aren Bazzocco, 39 

    Division President

    Taylor Morrison

    Sacramento, Calif.

    Education

    • BS, Business Administration, California State University, Sacramento

    Professional Credentials

    • Certified public accountant

    Accomplishments

    • Guided his division’s survival through the housing recession • Developed and retained a team of more than 75 employees who, based on employee engagement survey results, are among the most satisfied groups in the entire organization • Grew the division’s market share in Sacramento from the eighth largest in 2014 to the second largest in 2016, translating to a unit volume increase of more than 170 percent

    ExtraCurricular

    • Board member of the North State Building Industry Association

    Off the Clock

    • Founded the Payton Hadley Bazzocco Foundation to support children and families facing health crises

    Secret Life

    • Collects ticket stubs

     

    Aren Bazzocco, 39 

    Brent McCaffrey, 39 

    President

    The McCaffrey Group

    Fresno, Calif.

    Education

    • BS, Urban Planning and Development, University of Southern California

    Accomplishments

    • Developing more than 60 lots at South Hampton, his first community as construction superintendent • Secured approval for the first two villages with 2,734 residential units in a Madera County master planned community • Grew Building Industry Association (BIA) Fresno/Madera Counties membership and established forums to facilitate discussion between industry experts and the public

    ExtraCurricular

    • Chairman, BIA of Fresno/Madera Counties • Urban Land Institute Community Development Council • Catholic Professional and Business Club of Fresno • Young Presidents Organiz­ation of San Joaquin Valley

    Secret Life

    • Brent was the USC Trojans football team's MVP offensive lineman in 2000 and his father, Bob, won that honor in 1974 playing center.

     

    Brent McCaffrey, 39 

    Annjielyn Narvaez, 33 

    SEC Reporting & Compliance Manager

    UCP

    San Jose, Calif.

    Education

    • BS, Accounting; MBA, San Jose State University

    Professional Credentials

    • Emerging Leaders Certificate Program, California Society of CPAs

    Accomplishments

    • Put UCP in the forefront of financial reporting by redesigning filings to be more reader friendly with charts, graphs, and other visuals replacing content previously presented using text and numbers • Streamlined the audit process by redesigning risk-control matrices and critical-process flowcharts for Sarbanes-Oxley Act documentation • Introduced new technology to SEC reporting and compliance, resulting in cost reduction and increased effectiveness

    Off the Clock

    • Make-A-Wish • Hot pilates, vinyasa yoga, power yoga

    Secret Life

    • Scotch connoisseur

    Annjielyn Narvaez, 33

    Read the full list here.

  • 01 Mar 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    Project Team
    Architect: Bassenian Lagoni
    Builder: Beazer Homes
    Interior Designer: Triomphe Design

     

    Palm Springs home buyers value the unique architectural character of their desert oasis and demand that a new home community honor the town’s design heritage. Creating homes that interpret the mid-century modern vernacular in a way that adapts to a production environment requires finesse from the architect and great execution from the builder, not to mention the approval of the city and buy-in from a highly vocal and knowledgeable citizenry.

     

    See more images on the Living Best in America Blog.

  • 23 Feb 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    February 2017 Meeting | When Cal-OSHA Comes Knockin': Does, Don'ts, and Strategies for Employers  

     

    In this session Safety Alliance members discussed strategies and exposures for employers where they have a Cal-OSHA Inspection including dealing with a serious injury or death at the workplace.  The attendees will learn techniques for interfacing with Cal-OSHA and Cal-OSHA inspectors. The program touched on how to address the applicable California workplace fatality criminal law and best practices when the District Attorney and Cal-OSHA conducts their investigation of fatalities and serious injuries. The session also covered individual and company exposures along with key defense strategies, as well as actual workplace fatality cases to illustrate the issues.

     

    Our guest speaker, Kevin D. Bland, provided us with a wealth of experience in Health and Safety. Before his legal career, Mr. Bland had nearly 20 years of construction, safety, and business experience. In 2000, he launched his legal career after graduating cum laude from Whittier School of Law. Mr. Bland holds a Contractors "A" license and his practice focuses primarily on safety, risk management, Cal-OSHA regulatory rulemaking, and Cal-OSHA citation appeals. He counsels and represents various industries including construction, manufacturing, motion picture and television, and various other general industry clients along with various trade associations, construction contractors, and material suppliers.

     

    Check out the photos from the meeting below.

     

     

    Go back to the Safety Alliance page here.

  • 22 Feb 2017 by BIASC - Staff


     

    In many ways, Palm Springs, California, is an architectural oasis. Located a mere two hours from Los Angeles, the desert city was developed as a mid-century haven for Hollywood’s biggest stars—Marilyn MonroeFrank SinatraAva GardnerLiz Taylor, and Elvis Presley, to name a few, found themselves in Palm Springs at one time or another.

     

    A half-century later, and the homes they left behind are still adored by many. Every February since 2005, the best of mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion, and culture are showcased during Palm Springs’ Modernism Week. The 11-day affair is rich with tours of iconic homes, architectural walks, and double-decker bus tours, as well as lecture and film series, among other design-focused events. This year’s show, which runs through February 21, is expected to draw more than 60,000 visitors from around the globe.

     

    Read more about Modernism Week and Modernist Architecture and see more photos of the architecture at Architectural Digest here.

  • 10 Feb 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    Last week Jamboree Housing celebrated the Grand Opening of their award-winning Clark Commons apartment community.

    Clark Commons is a LEED Gold apartment community in the City of Buena Park that will provide homes for 70 families. This project features contemporary design with a large community center, laundry facilities, fitness room, technology amenities, outdoor dining, child play areas, and is adjacent to a one-acre neighborhood park. Clark Commons was recognized at the 2016 Affordable Housing Awards as Development of the Year.  

     

    Developer:  Jamboree Housing

    ArchitectDanielian Associates Architecture + Planning

    Product Type:  Affordable Housing

    Construction: Type V-A Apartments in 3-story & 4-story Levels over Type I Podium

    Units: 70      

    Density: 35 DU/AC

    General Contractor: Portrait Construction, Inc.

    Landscape: Summers/Murphy & Partners, Inc.

  • 07 Feb 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    Home shoppers can experience 365-degree virtual tours of the homebuilder's new Rancho Tesoro community in San Marcos, Calif.

     

    Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 attendees aren't the only people getting a taste of the world's most mind-bending technology this year. Thanks to homebuilder Brookfield Residential, San Diego County home shoppers can walk through new homes before they are built. Between February 1 and May 1, the builder will offer virtual reality (VR) tours of its new San Marcos community, Rancho Tesoro. The tours will take place between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets located at 5620 Paseo Del Norte in Carlsbad.

    "When you think of the home buying process, VR is unfamiliar territory for most builders and home buyers," says Mercedes Meserve, Vice President of Marketing for Brookfield Residential Southern California. "We're excited to do something different. By harnessing the power of VR, we'll be able to provide customers with a truly immersive experience that will put them in the driver's seat."

     

    The innovative technology will allow home shoppers to "walk" through new floor plan designs and experience 365-degree environments. Users will also be able to preview finish selections like flooring and cabinets, and view furniture layouts.

    "We hope to build excitement about Rancho Tesoro and save prospective residents time by letting them preview features in advance," adds Meserve.

    This isn't the only tech-forward project for the builder. Starting in spring 2017, Brookfield Residential will demonstrate Apple HomeKit in selected model homes in San Bernardino and Orange counties.

     

    Construction is currently underway at Rancho Tesoro, with a model grand opening planned for late spring. The community by Brookfield Residential and builder partner California West Communities will showcase four neighborhoods: Terracina, Vientos, Westerly and Candela, three of which will be set behind vehicular gates. The 346 detached homes ranging in size from approximately 2,211 to 3,565 square feet will include private yards, four to five bedrooms, and two- to three-car garages.

     

    Read More Here

  • 30 Jan 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    The New Year marks the time in society when people examine everyday decisions to improve their quality of life. Suburban regions across America are going through the same process to maintain and attract new residents. Since the 1950’s the trend was to leave the urban core behind and head for the peace and serenity of the suburbs. Now, 60 years later, the demographics of these regions are shifting, following a new mentality and different lifestyle choices.

     

    The look and feel of the suburbs has drastically transformed over the past two decades. Once full of homogeneous families with young children, these communities are becoming increasingly diverse in income, race, and ethnicity. This changing suburban demographic means a modern style of living with an entirely new preference of amenities.

     

    In these neighborhoods, suburbanites are looking for a wide range of modern housing typologies varying from apartments and townhomes to condos and compact single-family homes. These smaller lot housing solutions demand ample quality open space for recreational opportunities. In addition, young suburban families desire to be located within a quality educational system where children can continually grow and develop.

     

    Americans are realizing the challenges associated with suburban living. The sprawled, disconnected form has pushed residents away from their favorite destinations and has led to reliance on cars. John Levine author of The Next Slum states, “One in three homeowners prefers to live in a walkable urban setting.” As a result of this, interest in older, first-tier suburban communities is now beginning to resurface.

     

    Read more from the  Best In American Living blog about how the re-emergence of first tier suburbs by clicking here.

  • 10 Jan 2017 by Jasmine Lowe

    A membership with the Building Industry Association of Southern California, Inc. (BIASC) comes with a wide variety of amazing benefits. One added benefit to joining the organization is the ability to join a specialty council or committee. Below is the list of councils and committees available to you.

     

    To learn more about these BIASC councils and committees, to find out about upcoming events, or how to join, please email Amy Cisneros at acisneros@biasc.org, or call her office at 949-777-3855.

     

    The Remodelers and Custom Builders Council (RCBC) is a professional network created to help remodelers identify ways to establish and maintain credibility with customers, exchange ideas, and develop new services as needed.BIASC Remodelers and Custom Builders Council are proud to offer NAHB Educational Courses that provide opportunities for professional growth on a personal and company-wide level. With such a rapidly expanding active adult housing market, the need for construction professionals capable of building, renovating and retrofitting to the stringent codes and requirements required on all such projects is greater than ever before.

     

    The Union Contractors Council (UCC) is composed of union general contractors and subcontractors who share the common concerns of advancing union construction and addressing critical industry issues which impact union contractors.

     

    UCC'S purpose is to promote union contractors and union construction; provide a platform for union contractors to address issues impacting the union segment of the industry; provide a means of networking for union general contractors and union subcontractors; exchange ideas and knowledge through educational programs; and to seek solutions to our industry problems together. All interested parties can contact Pam Ackrich for more information at 949-553-9500, ext 858 or email her at packrich@biasc.org.

     

    The Customer Service Builders Council (CSBC) provides a forum where customer service professionals can network and share ideas on new technologies and innovative solutions for warranty and service within the building industry, improvements in product quality and service, and educational resources for both the industry and the public.

     

     

    The Council on Shaping Advancements in Generational Environments (SAGE), formerly known as the 55+ Housing Council, provides the education and networking tools needed to ensure success in building for and serving the senior market. The council offers builders and developers the chance to learn and share information with others in their field, helping them to maintain their competitive edge.

     

    Members receive valuable insight into a variety of senior care and housing issues affecting the growth and prosperity of their industry. The council presents a collective voice to city planning boards and town officials involved in the development and approval of senior housing and senior oriented businesses.

     

    The Greater Sales & Marketing Council’s (GSMC) mission is to deliver greater reward, greater benefits, and greater return to our members throughout Southern California by providing a forum for Membership, Education, Networking, Recognition, Sponsorship, and Mentoring.

     

    The Home Builders Committee's (HBC) primary purpose is to provide students who are interested in pursuing a construction oriented career with scholarships and financial support through grants and other donations and to advance homebuilding educational programs at high schools, community colleges and universities.

     

    HBC coordinates the Annual Design/Build Competition, which is held each spring at the Orange County Marketplace.  Design/Build is a two-day event involving teams from Southern California high schools and community colleges all competing to build their own structure (lifeguard tower, storage shed, etc.)  All teams are required to go through much the same process as professional architects and builders: students are asked to draw their own architectural and building plans in advance and to then incorporate input from ongoing building and planning code inspections as their construction progresses.  This is a well-attended event and a great vocational program for students studying residential or commercial construction.

     

    With the profound importance of worker safety in mind, the representatives from many of our region's top builders have joined together to create the Southern California Builders Safety Alliance Committee (SCBSA). The goal of the SCBSA is to develop a unilateral set of safety-oriented best practices to observed at all residential construction sites. Additionally, the SCBSA will conduct job-site trainings to ensure that all contractors operate in accordance to the SCBSA guidelines. If you have any questions about the SCBSA, please contact Denise Kennedy at 949-777-3854 or dkennedy@biasc.org.

     

    To learn more about these BIASC councils and committees, to find out about upcoming events, or how to join, please email Amy Cisneros at acisneros@biasc.org, or call her office at 949-777-3855. 

  • 04 Jan 2017 by BIASC - Staff

    Project Team
    Architect: Jenkins Custom Homes
    Builder: Jenkins Custom Homes
    Interior Designer: Jenkins Custom Homes
    Developer: The Reserve at Lake Travis

     

    NAHB's Home of the Week is Austin, Texas’ "Ship in the Sky," designed and built for a female ship captain who skillfully pilots some of the largest ships in the world safely through the Houston ship channel. The home was constructed on a lot located entirely in the floodplain and with a limited view corridor to the lake. The imposing structure sits almost 50 feet high at its peak, with the main living area suspended 21 feet in the air, and a cantilevered study off the main living. A three-floor stop elevator was built to accommodate both indoor and outdoor landings.

     

    Check out more photos of this home in the gallery here.

     

  • 20 Dec 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    Take a look back on the design trends for 2016 and view what's to come in 2017.

     

     

    2016: Matte Black Fixtures

    Last year interior design was all about matte finishes. However, Etsy designers created metallic designs with varying textures. The good news? The matte paint from last year will look amazing next to the metallic objects and varying textures that you picked over the year.

     

     

    2017: Mixed Patterns

    The mixed pattern trend on the runway during the fall 2016 New York Fashion Week has inspired home décor in the coming year. A space with a statement piece anchors a room with enticing and mismatched patterns.

     

     

    2016: Marble Accents

    Marble was very prominent in this year’s NY NOW showcase. The trend adds a touch of luxury at a lower price.

     

     

    2017: Faux Finishes

    It’s not just faux furs that are being talked about for 2017 trends—faux materials, such as faux wood ceiling beams that won’t rot, or engineered quartz that can withstand acidic foods better that Carrara marble, are being considered for budget friendly design.

     

     

    2016: New Neutrals

    In 2016 designers left cliché neutrals, such as taupe, and replaced them with new neutrals that included blush tones, silver, and even pale blue. 

     

     

    2017: Greenery

    The 2017 Pantone Color of the Year is “Greenery.” The bright green color is supposed to represent refreshment and revitalization as we enter the new year.

     

     

     

     

  • 20 Dec 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    Millennials and boomers will be big buyers

     

    As the oldest of the millennials push into their mid-30s, many will start to settle down and buy houses, Smoke and Gudell said.

     

    A number of factors are contributing to this generation's decision to start buying homes. More jobs are being created for 25- to 34-year-olds than any other age group, and wages are rising, Smoke said. Millennials are also reaching an age at which they're thinking about marriage and children.

     

    Baby boomers, the oldest of whom are entering their late 60s, are also looking to move as they reach their retirement years, Smoke said.

     

    In the last several years, baby boomers' participation in the housing market has dwindled. Many already own homes and may have been reluctant to sell until their properties recovered the value they lost in the housing bust, Smoke said.

     

    "While a sizable number want to downsize to control expenses, we're seeing others move to the biggest house they've ever owned because they've got children and grandchildren and they want those people to come visit," Smoke said.

     

    He added that many boomers are opting not to move to traditional retirement hot spots like Arizona and Florida, instead choosing to move closer to family.

     

    Home values will increase, but more slowly than last year

     

    Home values should increase about 3.6 percent next year, Gudell said. That's a slight drop from 2016, when national home values rose about 4.8 percent.

     

    As the market recovered from the housing crisis, "for a while, we were growing at very high home-value appreciation rates," Gudell said. "What we'll see for next year are more historically normal appreciation rates in line with what we've seen over the last 50 or so years."

     

    Gudell and Smoke said this slowdown in appreciation is an inevitable effect of the market's recovery, and it signals that the nation's housing market is normalizing.

     

    More people will move to the suburbs for affordable housing

     

    As home prices continue to rise, more buyers will move to the suburbs to find affordable housing, Gudell said.

     

    "After the housing bust, people were able to move back to the cities because it was much cheaper than a few years ago," she said. "Now, we see people would still like to live close to the city center where they're close to amenities and in walkable neighborhoods, but for the first time they're not able to find enough inventory that's affordable for them to buy."

     

    As a result, many people have to look further out from cities to find homes in the right price range. 

     

    West coast prices will continue to rise

     

    Homebuyers may have the market on their side in the Midwest, but home prices on the already-expensive West Coast will continue to rise, Smoke said.

     

    "It's fundamentally where the most significant job growth has been since the end of the recession, led by California -- particularly Northern California -- and continuing into Portland, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix and Tucson. Most Western markets are outperforming the East," Smoke said.

     

    Population growth will follow job growth, he said, increasing demand for homes beyond the market's ability to build inventory and lead to higher prices.

     

    Mortgage rates will increase

     

    Following the housing market crash, mortgage rates remained at record lows for years. However, that's finally starting to change, Smoke said.

     

    Rates are climbing now and are expected to keep doing so next year, with the Federal Reserve indicating that three more increases to its benchmark rate are coming in 2017.

     

    "As a buyer or seller, this essentially points to acting sooner rather than later if you're intending to do a transaction next year," he said. "Rates will get higher as we go through the year, and inventory is not going to improve. So winter or early spring will be more advantageous than waiting for late spring or early summer, when most buyers emerge."

     

    Read the rest of the predictions for the new year here.

  • 09 Dec 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    View the Photo Gallery Here

    Project Team
    Architect: Bassenian Lagoni 
    Builder: Beazer Homes 
    Interior Designer: Triomphe Design

    Design Statement:
    Palm Springs' home buyers value the unique architectural character of their desert oasis. To deliver the required authenticity, this plan stayed true to must-have design details of Mid-century Modern homes: flat planes, large windows, changes in elevation, and integration with nature. The gabled roof common to modern ranch-style houses and the small steps between rooms create split-level spaces.

  • 05 Dec 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    Employment bounces back following a lackluster jobs report in October.

    By Hanley Wood Data Studio

     

    The U.S. economy added 178,000 non-farm payroll positions in November, according to the monthly employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This seasonally adjusted figure—a significant increase from October's downward revised addition of 142,000 jobs—fell slightly short of the Wall Street Journal's expectation of 180,000.

     

    The national unemployment rate declined from October's 4.9% to 4.6%, while the labor-force participation rate was little changed at 62.7%. Average hourly wages for private, non-farm workers declined by 3 cents to $25.89, following an 11-cent gain in October.

     

    Economists believe October's report was depressed by Hurricane Matthew, and that November's boost is significantly attributed to the return to normal weather conditions. According to the Wall Street Journal, December's employment report is clouded with uncertainty, as Federal Reserve officials will meet mid-December, and are expected to raise interest rates for the first time in a year.

     

    The construction industry continued to grow in November, adding 19,000 payroll positions. Construction jobs added in November outpace October's addition of 14,000 jobs, but still lag far behind the 65,000 positions added in November 2015. The manufacturing sector continued to shed jobs, losing 4,000 jobs in November. Meanwhile, payrolls in the architectural and engineering services sector lost 1,000 positions in November, following six consecutive months of growth.

     

    Read the full article with interactive graphical data on Builder Magazine and get the full release from the Bureau of Labor Statistic for more key figures.

  • 01 Aug 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    The Labor Department announced last week that, as a result of Congressional action last year, it will raise the maximum penalties it can impose for violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules by 78%.

     

    The changes affect penalties assessed after Aug. 1 for violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. They are contained in an interim final rule that will be published soon in the Federal Register.

     

    Read more about the fee hike here.

  • 01 Aug 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    At the August SCBSA meeting the discussion focused on the rise of injury due to being shot by a nail gun. Nail guns are a necessary tool on any job site but also very dangerous if not properly used. Please see Nail Gun Safety PowerPoint for proper safety procedures.

     

    Click here to view and download the PDF images of the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting.

     

  • 07 Jun 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    You still have time to get out and vote! Over the past year California Building Industry Association (CBIA) and Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIASC) PAC has watched and engaged in a variety of legislative seats around the state supporting pro-housing candidates. Today, June 7th, is the 2016 Primary Election here in California. From 120 legislative races to local councils and boards to a U.S. Senate seat there are countless reasons why to get out and vote.

     

    Whether it is to engage in one of the few times a Presidential Primary has still been in play in California to support your local candidates or to vote on local bond measures take a few minutes out of your day tomorrow to stop by the polls and vote.

     

    Polls are open until 8 p.m. today and you can find your polling place here.

  • 01 May 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    At the May 2016 Southern California Builders Safety Alliance meeting John Ford, Senior Safety Engineer and VPP Construction Coordinator, Cal/OSHA presented three partnership programs that are available to builders and trades that recognizes those employers and its employees, who work toward and maintain a safe and healthy workplace.

     

    Click here to view and download the PDF images of the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting.

     

  • 27 Apr 2016 by Andy Bowden

    The 55+ Housing Council had a great time in Arizona on their housing project tour. Read Andy Bowden's, Principal at Land Concern, account of the Council's adventure.

    Author’s note: This is to be read with the music of Arlo Gutherie’s ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ playing in the background.

     

    My alarm went off at 5:00 am as it does every morning and I hurried to get ready for the 55+ Housing Council’s tour of some great active adult projects in Phoenix, Arizona.  This was quite a ‘departure’ for our council (pardon the pun), as in years past, the tours had always been of projects local to Orange County or surrounding areas.  Our Programs Committee, headed up by Nick Lehnert of KTGY Architecture and Planning and Ann Cutner of IMA Design Group came up with the great idea to ‘expand our horizons’ and to tour projects in not only another area, but in another state.

     

    Phoenix, Arizona…, is home to the Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona Diamondbacks, thousands of rattlesnakes, scorpions, roadrunners and coyotes, as well as two very successful active adult communities, Victory at Verrado and Trilogy at Vistancia.  It’s also the place you go to get out of the cold in the north and the crowds in the west, where the air is clear, and 100 degree heat is commonplace (all together now, ‘but it’s a dry heat’) from May through October.

     

    We met at the gate the flight was leaving from and that gave us a little bit of time to network a little.  Everyone was saying how easy the check-in process was.  However, one or two did say that they were a little disappointed that the TSA didn’t give them a pat down…, (insert appropriate slightly off color joke of your choice here).  Some who weren’t seasoned travelers didn’t quite understand that when the TSA officer said that you were to remove shoes, belts, jackets and anything from your pockets didn’t mean that you ended up on the other side of the machine wearing only your underwear.  (Okay…, it was me.  I’m not too proud to admit it. I said that I was 55+.  They were very understanding, and passed me through the screening process very quickly, so it worked to my advantage).

     

    The flight was well coordinated thanks to Denise Kennedy at BIASC and all went off without a hitch.  Someone (who shall remain nameless but whose first name is Ann) was kind enough to pass out free drink tickets to all who were traveling on Southwest with the main group before we boarded the plane.  Several, (who shall also remain nameless but were seated together in the same row) decided to start the trip off right with a little Bloody Mary.  (All went well until they started to do the ‘wave’  which we all thought was fun until the pilot came over the loudspeaker and said that we were rocking the boat and could we all please take our seats).  We could tell that this was going to be a GREAT trip!

     

    We landed at the Phoenix airport without further incident and met up with several others who had arrived separately and all of us jammed into the two large 7 passenger SUV’s and drove out to our first destination.  It was kind of close quarters riding in the backseat of the SUV and if you didn’t know the person sitting next to you…, you became very acquainted by the time we arrived at the Verrado Coffee Company and Info Center, (I’m not sure…, and I think that I might have gotten to first base with the person next to me). 

     

    We were all very impressed with the number of really great community features that were provided by homeownership in Verrado as a whole, and by the “….8 x 10 glossy photos with circles and arrows with a description on the back saying what each one was…..” that were hanging on the walls.  But what some of us were really impressed with was the chart on one of the rear walls that showed all of the various homebuilders and the prices of the homes that were being offered.  Prices in Victory started in the high $200’s and went up to the low $500’s.  Basically, you could buy a very nice 2,000 square foot home for the same price as what you’d pay for a carport in Orange County!  Proving that, “….you can get anything you want at Victory at Verrado!”  (By now, that song should be playing in your head the entire time that you’re reading this.  If not, download the song on ITunes and play it while you continue reading).

     

    From there, Chuck Disney, overall master planned community designer and the ‘very distant cousin to Walt…, and all of his money,’ invited us to tour Victory. We then loaded back into the SUV’s and drove the short distance through the Main Street District to the model complex.  Located on the Tom Lehman designed golf course, the model complex is adjacent to what they call ‘The Big Patio’, a very nice sales center with a large shaded patio (hence the name…, duh!) complete with a beautiful outdoor kitchen facility, large enough to have community events.  There’s also a Golf Playground which includes a putting green and a small 4 hole practice course for those wishing to improve their short game which would be very enjoyable while having a few ‘adult beverages’ (I mean this is a 55+ community after all) with some friends in the late evening after it’s cooled off.

     

    The landscape of the overall community is definitely ‘Desert Themed’ (of course, it’s in a desert) and as such utilizes a lot of really drought tolerant trees and shrubs.  But as this is located in a very dry and arid part of the City, the style of the landscape blends in well with the surrounding area and is in keeping with the natural native beauty that is indicative of this style. The builders included Lennar, Standard Pacific (now CalAtlantic), Maracay Homes, and David Weekly Homes.  We were all very impressed by the quality of the presentation.

     

    From there, we went ‘up the hill’ to the Victory Club for lunch at ‘The Vic’.  The food was very good and we enjoyed a shaded outdoor dining experience out on the veranda that overlooks the terraced pool area.  By this time, the temperature was reaching 98 degrees, but we didn’t really seem to notice it as (all together now), ‘it’s a dry heat.’

     

    After lunch, we took a tour of the Victory Club and the surrounding area.  It’s located high up on top of a stony hill and the view from the patio that is off of the main club facility is absolutely breath taking.  One could only imagine what that view must be like at night, looking down on all of Verrado and the surrounding areas.  It was truly a beautiful ‘sight’ as well as a beautiful ‘site’ for an active adult community.  But we were tight for time and had to hustle off, or ‘David Hasselhoff’ as I heard someone exclaim as they were being rushed away.

     

    Back in the SUV’s once again, and we were off and traveled across to the other side of town to Shea Homes’ Trilogy at Vistancia.  As soon as we arrived, we could see that this was built somewhat earlier as the landscaping was mature, with ponds and waterfalls and green grass everywhere, something that is becoming less and less frequently seen back home, (or will be in the not so distant future).  This was certainly not at all a desert style landscape, it evoked images of what you’d see in Palm Springs with lush landscaping and golf courses everywhere you look.

     

    We pulled up to the Trilogy Info Center located at the 35,000 square foot Kiva Club.  This houses many of the main amenities that are available at Vistancia like the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a health spa, ballroom facility, athletic club and a small café.  They are in the process of building a new club facility within the development that will is currently under construction which when completed will be called the Mita Club.

     

    We toured some of indoor and outdoor amenities.  I was particularly impressed by the indoor swimming pool that was very large and could accommodate a large number of people.  The outdoor swimming pool was in high use with a number of people enjoying the beautiful day while keeping cool. We then went over to the model complex where we went through some of the more popular floor plans.

     

    By this time, it was time for us to troop back to the SUV’s once again for the long trek back to the Phoenix Airport in time to catch our flight home.  We ended up getting back to the airport with just a little time to spare.  We went through the airport security line with no problems, though once again I heard comments (complaints?) about not being stripped searched or padded down.  Some people are just hard to please….

     

    The flight back was very nice and quiet with no raucous laughter, cheering, or people doing ‘the wave’ as they walked to the restroom at the back of the plane.  I attributed this to either that our group was very tired or…., that Ann had run out of drink tickets.

     

    The trip was a great opportunity to see what others are doing in other areas that influence home buying for the active adult marketplace.  My one big takeaway from this experience was that while the floorplans and architectural styles are somewhat similar to what is built in our area, the lifestyles are different and that we need to pay more attention to the amenities that we offer in our communities.  That and next time I need to get more drink tickets from Ann!  :o)

     

    ATTENDEES:

    Ike Balmaseda - Dahlin Group Architects

    Yuri Bast - Descante Design

    Andy Bowden - Land Concern, Landscape Architecture

    Ann Cutner – IMA Design Group

    Julie Ernest – Brinks Home Security

    Chris Francis – Brinks Home Security

    Rian Graber – MEYERS

    Geoff Graney – KTGY Architecture and Planning

    Joe Hammond – Rick Engineering

    Valerie Hardman – Outdoor Dimensions

    Denise Kennedy - BIASC

    Joe Kody – Expressions Home Gallery

    Rita Lamkin – Preface, Inc.

    Nick Lehnert – KTGY Architecture and Planning

    Anthony Sandoval – WSH Management

    Lisa Klang Schriver – Klang & Associates Interior Design

    Janet Sharp – Home Smart

    Trent Schneeberger – SeniorHousingNet

  • 01 Apr 2016 by BIASC - Staff

    The city of Fullerton is considering putting several properties up for sale.

     

    The property the Meridian Sports Club sits on is among several city-owned parcels that could make more economic sense to sell, according to what officials said in the Orange County Register.

     

    City staff said that the parcels could be attractive to developers and bring in tax revenue to the city if sold.

     

    While no deals have been struck, a city-hired Realtor has been in discussions with the owner of the Target shopping center immediately north of the property, who has expressed interest in buying in the property, City Manager Joe Felz said.

     

    The city has also looked at a downtown parking lot, land once proposed for a library and property near Sunny Hills High School and the parking lot behind the Fox Theatre along with an 18,000-square-foot parcel just north of the former movie house.

     

    The city may also sell the 2.4-acre Bastanchury Library site, adjacent to Loma Vista Memorial Park.

     

    Read the article on Orange County

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