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San Clemente Journal

Ole Would Have Liked It...

Mar 03, 2015 10:01AM ● By Don Kindred
by Don Kindred

The 248-acre coastal bluff known locally as Marblehead Coastal in San Clemente has had a long and bumpy history, littered with varied plans and false starts. Now to be known as Sea Summit at Marblehead, developer Taylor Morrison broke ground in January and is finally on track with a plan that includes 309 luxury, single-family homes, a four-mile network of oceanfront trails, four public parks, a private resort club, and 105 acres of protected mesa and canyon habitat which border most of the home sites.

Taylor Morrison Division President Phil Bodem, gave a tour of the property after the ceremonial ground breaking. 
“This project is one of the most pure and precious settings in Southern California and it is a privilege to be able to create a community that takes advantage of its natural beauty,” said Bodem. “We are proud to help begin bringing it to completion at long last while preserving the rich, coastal environment and views.”

Brief History
Originally a part of the Reeves Ranch, I’ve heard the land passed to the Mormon Church who had originally intended to build a college there, sort of a BYU on the beach, but that never happened. Used as a tomato field, a motorcycle track and the site of early ‘80s Chili Cook-offs, the ownership eventually fell to the Lusk Company who had already developed the Marblehead inland projects across the freeway. 
Lusk came to the city with a plan that included 2,000 homes, a hotel and the Nixon Library. But those plans were stalled when Nixon decided to move his Presidential Library to Yorba Linda. Lusk’s Jim Johnson, eventually came back with a 313-home development plan that included a shopping center on the freeway side, but couldn’t find the right development partner. Sun Cal, a New York and California Developer, stepped in and bought the property and the plans. But they were put on hold when their funding arm, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy after the housing collapse in 2007.

Sea Summit Neighborhoods
Taylor Morrison’s current plan calls for 309 homes on the residential side of the property. They are offering four neighborhoods of resort-style, single-family residences from 2,200to 5,300 square feet. The homes, which will feature the high end levels of specifications and finishes, have been planned by two international designers: Robert Hidey Architects and Mark Scheuer, Architect.
The neighborhoods have been designed for maximum enjoyment of oceanfront land. Most of the residences will enjoy extraordinary views and all neighborhoods will offer walkable destinations for all the community amenities, including shopping and dining.
The network of five community parks will total 12 acres. These will include an active Sports Park, two neighborhood parks, a private “passive-use” park and a nature park. Uses will include active play fields, passive turf areas, basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic tables, benches, walkways and bicycle paths. Ole would have liked it.
There will be some private areas for the homebuyers including: Summit House, an approximately 6,500-square-foot recreation center, will be the social heart of Sea Summit at Marblehead. The private club which will offer a fitness center, pool and community gathering places, including a nice  lounge, patios and fire pit, Its décor, programming and amenities will be worthy of resort living.

Preservation Development: Habitat and Trails
The project looks to integrate nicely with 105 acres of habitat conservation. Most of the residences are bordered on three sides by protected mesas and canyons, overlooking and ensuring stunning views. This so-called preservation development approach is said to “enhance native and endangered species while maximizing the ocean-living experience for Sea Summit residents.” The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) is granted an easement over this property.

Four miles of new trails weave through the pristine coastal habitat. The trails loop along the plateau facing the Pacific Ocean and descend sandstone bluffs via stairways to PCH and existing beach trails. Several trail areas are open to bicycles.
The preserved areas include three detention basins, which will cleanse groundwater runoff, the ponds will also offer habitat for ducks and other waterfowl.
Also opening this year is The Outlets at San Clemente, a 580,000-square-foot shopping center set on 52 acres within the community. Developed by Craig Realty Group, Plaza San Clemente will be easily accessible from the residences of Sea Summit at Marblehead. It will include over 70 high-end, outlet-style shops and ocean-view restaurants. Like Sea Summit at Marblehead, The Outlets at San Clemente is a rare opportunity to incorporate protected oceanfront habitat into a luxury development.

The Avenida Vista Hermosa Bridge spans one of Sea Summit’s lush ravines and connects the community with Plaza San Clemente.

About Taylor Morrison
The headquarters is in Scottsdale, Arizona. The development will be headed by Phil Bodem, (shown)  from Irvine. Taylor Morrison is a builder and developer of single-family detached and attached homes, serving a wide array of customers including first-time, move-up, luxury and 55 or older. They have divisions  in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and Texas. 
It’s going to be a great community. The open trails and canyons, the low destiny, the Pacific views and  open trails and preservation goals of this project will guarantee it.

Sea Summit Facts
How many: Coastal Commission approved 313; developer opted to build just 309 to allow room for a private recreation center.
Sizes: Taylor Morrison expects to begin building four product types 
simultaneously, homes 2,200 to 5,000 square feet on lots 5,300 to 7,000 square feet. Most are two-story; six closest to a neighboring community are one-story.
Prices:  Prices range from the low $1 millions to low $3 millions. 
Sales open in summer 2015.
Public parks: An 8-acre sports park by Shorecliffs Middle School, offering
   three soccer fields and a playground; a 1-acre park along Avenida Pico with a basketball court and playground; two smaller parks. All parks with restrooms.
Trails: Four miles of crushed granite trails will weave through the
property and be open to the public.
Open space:  105 acres percent: 42%.
Timing: Models: July 2015 Families moving in: November, ‘15
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