KB Home in partnership with IHP Capital Partners is building a housing development in Carlsbad on the 20-acre site of a former nursery at 4901 El Camino Real.
“It’s kind of a lock-and-stay type community,” said Steve Ruffner, president of KB Home’s Coastal Division.
Designed to be a self-contained and walkable community where people can find whatever they need without driving elsewhere, Marja Acres will have 248 townhomes, 10,000 square feet of commercial space that will include at least one restaurant, and 46 affordable rental apartments for renters 55 and older, and a daycare center that will be open to families in Marja Acres and the community at large.
The affordable apartments will be built by USA Properties.
Modern and Contemporary
The for-sale townhomes will be divided into two separate neighborhoods, one designed in what KB Home described as “modern farmhouse” while the other will have a more contemporary look.
The 121 farmhouse-style townhomes will have up to three bedrooms and 2 ½ bathrooms and range from 1,700 square feet to 1,740 square feet.
The 127 contemporary townhomes will have up to four bedrooms and 3 ½ bathrooms and range from 2,000 square feet to 2,350 square feet.
The townhomes are designed to be energy efficient with solar electricity and WaterSense rated fixtures – an Environmental Protection Agency ranking indicating that they conserve water.
Community amenities will include a 1 ½-acre village green, four pocket parks, a community center with a pool, a barbecue area and a bocce ball court.
Site work is already under way and construction of the model homes is schedule to start in the fourth quarter of 2022 with sales starting in early 2023.
Neither KB nor IHP would disclose the construction cost of Marja Acres or the likely sales price of the townhomes.
Jeff Enes, senior vice president of IHP Capital Partners, said that the goal “is really to allow people who grew up in Carlsbad and live and work there to hit below the $1 million price point.”
“The demographic is people who work in Carlsbad or North County who want to live in Carlsbad but can’t afford the higher priced single-family, detached product that’s available in the market,” Enes said.
The site at 4901 Camino Real between Kelly Drive and Cannon Road is the former Oasis Nursery & Landscaping.
In a whimsical touch, Ruffner said that Marja Acres will somehow include the nursery’s chicken mascot somewhere on the site.
“It was very popular, so we’re going to try and incorporate this mascot into the theme of the community,” Ruffner said. “Just maybe a small statue.”
Despite rising interest rates, demand remains high for developments like Marja Acres, Ruffner said, partly because there are so few homes on the market.
“I’ve never seen such a low inventory of available homes,” Ruffner said. “There’s a lot less housing than there is demand.”
Townhomes developments also are drawing potential buyers who been can no longer afford a detached single family home, Ruffner said.
“We are seeing a lot of people, they’re priced out of the single family homes and coming towards the townhomes,” Ruffner said.
To help offset rising interest rates, he said KB Home has reintroduced adjustable rate mortgages for Marja Acres and its other communities.
IHP Capital Partners
Headquarters: Newport Beach
CEO: Douglas Neff
Business: residential real estate investment company
Social impact: Supports Laura’s House and Interval House
Notable: IHP has invested in more than 250 residential properties valued at more than $20 billion.
CEO: Jeffrey Mezger
Headquarters: Los Angeles
Business: National homebuilder
Social impact: In 2021, KB Home donated more than $1 million to charities and company employees volunteered more than 1,000 hours in communities served by the company.
Notable: KB Home has built nearly 655,000 homes since it was founded and operates in 47markets in the U.S.