Multifamily architects McLarand Vasquez Emsiek and Partners, Irvine, CA, planned out five cottage scale buildings holding a total of 20 units, with the small-scale hotel sited atop the largest of the buildings.
The units were modest in size, because the homes were designed to appeal to second-home and vacation home buyers. The smallest unit is a 545-square-foot studio, and one-bedroom units have either 660 square feet or 710 square feet depending on the floor plan.
Buyers interested in more space could opt for either a 990-square-foot flat or a 1,160-square-foot, two-level townhome.
The architects began their planning under the ground, where a one-level parking garage built into the sloping site would ensure that no home owner would have to cruise the streets to find parking — or take street spaces away their neighbors.
Each of the four smaller buildings has the look of a large, single-family home. And to further complement the residential nature of the neighborhood, the designers opted to add variety to the exteriors of the homes.
They gave the buildings on the north side a Spanish Colonial look, with clay roof tiles, copper details, wrought iron railings and small balconies. On the south side, the homes presented a French Tudor look, with wood shake roofs, brick chimneys and a smooth plaster and half-timber exterior. Interior appointments reflected the exteriors.
The project, built by Lexor Builders, Los Gatos, CA, opened in the summer of 2001 — and the developers immediately had to deal with the disastrous impact of the Sept. 11 tragedy on the economy.
In spite of the inauspicious timing, the project sold well; while prices softened somewhat, the residences continued to bring higher prices than comparable local homes. All the units sold, and the project lived up to the developers’ fiscal expectations.
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