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Trend Setters -- Selling Community

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Trend Setters -- Selling Community

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

By Dan McLeister May 31, 1999
This article first appeared in the PB June 1999 issue of Pro Builder.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The truth of that well-known phrase is evident at One Ford Road, a planned community of five housing types by the same builder and architect. Through land planning, coordinated design for multiple housing styles, color coordination and landscaping for the 98-acre site, the 376 houses will be a community, not just another subdivision of houses without character or style. The result of this thorough planning has made this new community one of the most talked about housing subjects in the Southern California city of Newport Beach, one of the most affluent in the area.


Elegant entry sign sets the tone for One Ford Road, a planned community in Newport Beach, Calif. The central garden area from one end of the site to the other includes a large stone fireplace and trellises.

The goal of Pacific Bay Homes at One Ford Road is to sell community ahead of homes, according to Patty Carmichael, sales and marketing director. "We are, in fact, selling community and after that original tour, placing homebuyers where they have a product or price preference and where we have availability. Many prospective purchasers have elected to be on our list for future phases."

The land plan for the site in the heart of Newport Beach is more than just another master planned subdivision of houses, according to architect Rick Emsiek of McClarand, Vasquez and Partners of Costa Mesa, Calif. The driving force was to create "a great place to live," a phrase used frequently by John Markley, president of Pacific Bay Homes. Distinctiveness begins immediately at the entrance with two main entry gates that feature elegant ironwork. The gate's intricate leaf pattern, Carmichael said, is one of the countless examples of attention to detail that make One Ford Road an exceptional community.


Site of 98 acres includes 376 houses in six neighborhoods. A one-mile loop road leads to groups of houses in smaller cul-de-sacs. A central paseo green links the two gated entries. The green is connected by sidewalks to each neighborhood.

Inside the gate is a one-mile loop road, which leads to neighborhoods of smaller cul-de-sacs. Just as One Ford Road is more than a subdivision, Old Course Drive is more than just a street, according to Carmichael. A wide sidewalk parallels its length, yet is separated from the street by a continuous grass lawn planted with mature trees. A central paseo green links the two gated entries and, according to Carmichael, provides the unique sense of neighborhood at One Ford Road. The space includes a central garden with trellises, a large stone fireplace and barbecues. All of the various neighborhoods are connected to the community-long park by sidewalks.

Other community amenities (planned by Burton Associates of San Diego) are a 3000 square foot fitness center, a community clubhouse, and a children's play area. Furthermore, for more intimate gathering places, Pacific Bay Homes has taken five lots out of production to create neighborhood parks.


This 3174 square foor model at Stonybrook (exterior above) is aimed at a growing family buyer. Prices start in the high $900,000 range for houses on 600 square foot lots. (Exterior above, interior shown below)

Where possible, at community entrances and along the loop road, product type and lot sizes are mixed to create an interesting and varied street scene. Further variety comes from the color palate developed by the Miriam Tate Co. of Costa Mesa, Calif. for the architectural styles Emsiek describes as Nantucket, New England Colonial, Italian Villa, French Normandy, Country Estate and Santa Barbara.

To create variety inside its homes as well, Pacific Bay selected five different interior design firms to merchandise the models. They are Design Tech of Costa Mesa for the Balboa models; Design Line of San Diego for Carmel: Color Design Art of Pacific Palisades for Summer House; and Saddleback Interiors of Corona Del Mar for Stonybrook. The Providence models have a different design firm for each model home: Saddleback, CDA, Design Tech and Stein/Gray Interiors.

The Stonybrook floor plans listed below. First floor on left, second floor on right.

Balboa models are rear loaded with front porch living space. They are reminiscent of housing on Balboa Island and Corona Del Mar, older beach communities in the vicinity. Lot size is approximately 3600 square feet and these models average 2500 to 3000 square feet. Prices in the first part of 1999 were in the mid-$700,000 range and the target is the move-up buyers.

Carmel and Stonybrook both aim for the family buyer. The Carmel plans are on traditional California lots of approximately 5000 square feet. House square footage ranges from 2700 to 3100. Prices are in the mid $800,000 range. Stonybrook lots, aimed at a growing family buyer, are approximately 6000 square feet, with homes ranging from 3100 to 3550 square feet. Prices start in the high $900,000 range.


This 3135 square foot plan at Carmel is designed for a family buyer with young children. Prices are in the mid $800,000 range. Lots are approximately 5000 square feet. (Interior above, exterior shown below)

Summer House is a group of three homes designed for the empty nester on a 75-foot wide lot. House square footage ranges from 3100 to 3800. Prices start in the low $1,000,000 range. Providence homes aim for the same market, though this segment of the market may have adult children still at home. Lots are 7200 square feet and homes range from 3800 to 5100 square feet. Prices average $1.2 million. These models are scheduled to open later this summer.

The biggest houses planned for One Ford Road are still in design development. A total of 13 estate homes are expected to be in the 7000 square foot range.

This new community began taking shape in the fall of 1997. An on-site information sign generated an interest list of about 4500 names. The site is next to a major street and located on a flat portion of a bluff less than two miles from the Pacific Ocean. The Ford Motor Co. purchased the land from the Irvine Co. It had housed office buildings and parking lots.

The Carmel floor plans are listed below. First floor on left, second floor on right.


Sales opened on a reservation-only basis in December 1997 to friends of the builder and employees. In three months there were a total of 75 reservations, which Carmichael said exceeded expectations. Sales and reservations reached 93 by the end of June and six months later totaled 107. Thirteen of 23 homes in a new release sold during the first part of 1999.

In 1998 Pacific Bay Homes, which is a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Co., mailed two promotional pieces to the interest list, but the company did no other advertising. Carmichael said sales have been primarily through referral and word-of-mouth. Prices have increased by an average of $75,000.

Major Products Used: Monier roof tile, Andersen Windows, Select Finish fireplace, Olde Boards flooring by Richard Marshall, Premdor doors, and natural stone flooring by Walker Zanger.

Also See:

Fine-Tuning Sarasota

Variety is the Spice of Life Forms

Housing as Fashion

Fruitful Vineyards

Don't Fence Me In

Style Sells

Rustling Up Sales at Cinco Ranch

Neotraditional Success

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