Martin Brower's Along the Coast
Fashionable living will cost you
Villas Fashion Island, the 524-unit luxury apartment complex spread over 16 acres on San Joaquin Hills Road near Jamboree Road in Newport Center – and whose low-key approval by the city of Newport Beach and subsequent development has raised a huge level of curiosity and concern among local residents and businesses – is accepting its first move-ins.
How much does it cost to live within walking distance of Fashion Island and all of Newport Center’s restaurants and amenities? One-bedroom units range from $3,700 to $4,600 a month, and two-bedroom units range from $4,505 to $6,095 a month. Larger one-bedroom units include a den, and larger two-bedrooms include a loft. Locals are concerned about the traffic from 524 units, but it appears the increase will be gradual, with only 130 units open in the first phase.
Master communities hit high
No other region in the nation with master-planned communities can match the number of residential sales reached by Orange County during 2016. Not only did Orange County’s four currently selling master-planned communities reach 3,425 sales of new homes, but the Irvine Co.’s Irvine Ranch, with 1,989 new homes sold in the villages of Cypress, Portola Springs, Stonegate, Eastwood and Orchard Hills, ranked the Irvine Ranch as the No. 1 master-planned community in the nation in home sales.
FivePoint Communties’ Great Park Neighborhoods ranked ninth in the nation with 535 new-home sales, primarily in the village of Beacon Park. Ranking 16th was Rancho Mission Viejo, with 458 sales, primarily in its south Orange County village of Escencia. Baker Ranch in Lake Forest ranked 19th, with 443 new-home sales.
This is the second year the Irvine Ranch has outpaced The Villages near Orlando, Fla., as No. 1. The Villages, an over-55 development, held the No. 1 rank for a number of years.
Huntington Beach adds hotels
Demand is forcing Huntington Beach’s waterfront hotels to grow and upgrade. Opening this summer will be the 152-room, nine-story tower addition to the 285-room Waterfront Beach Resort which flies the Hilton flag. Rising on a 3.5-acre site next to the original hotel on Pacific Coast Highway, the $140 million project includes an all-suites tower and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Mayer Corp., Irvine, owner of the Waterfront Beach Resort, is also part owner of the adjacent Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. An $11 million renovation of this hotel kicks off in late ’17 and includes all 517 rooms.
Also set to undergo a major overhaul is the relatively new Shorebreak Hotel. Purchased just over two years ago by a Maryland REIT, the hotel is now managed by Kimpton Properties and has been re-named the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel. Kimpton plans to update all 157 rooms, add meeting space and a restaurant to be called Pacific Hideaway.
The hotels are facing new competition from the recently opened 250-room Paséa Hotel & Spa on Pacific Coast Highway adjacent to the Pacific City retail center.
Lido House Hotel is happening
Remember the Lido House Hotel? This is the 130-room boutique hotel under construction on the 4-acre site of the former Newport Beach City Hall at the entrance to Lido Isle and the Balboa Peninsula. Ground was broken in June and the hotel is under construction, with an opening planned for January.
Autograph Collection Hotels, a division of Marriott International, will operate the Lido House, which will not carry a Marriott flag. Developer R.D. Olson, Newport Beach, received an 85-year lease from Newport Beach and is creating the four-story hotel, which will reflect the Newport/nautical tradition. The hotel’s 130 guestrooms will include 17 luxury suites, a presidential suite and five three-story cottages. Featured will be a full-service restaurant called The Mayor’s Table and Topside, called the only rooftop bar in Newport Beach. Special events will be held in 4,000 square feet of meeting space including a ballroom.