Cornerstone Communities bought 44 acres of land in Otay Mesa with plans to build 450 all-electric townhomes for entry-level buyers.
More than 40% of the property is being set aside as open space preserves.
Called Candlelight, site work on the development is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2023 with the first townhomes available for sale in the third quarter of 2024.
Candlelight will have four separate neighborhoods with diverse architecture, amenities, and home sizes- Maya with 122 townhomes, Sapphire with 106, Indigo with 95, and Azure with 127.
Townhomes in some of the neighborhoods will have private yards.
The three-story townhomes will range from 1,344 square feet to 1,904 square feet and will be priced from mid-$500,000 to a little more than $600,000.
By comparison, the median price in March for existing townhomes and condominiums was $635,000, according to the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, down from $645,000 in March 2022.
The median price of an existing single-family home in March was $940,500, down from $975,000 in March 2022, according to the Association of Realtors.
“There’s a crying need in San Diego for housing under $600,000,” said Ure Kretowicz, CEO of Cornerstone Communities, adding the Cornerstone chose to build townhomes rather than single-family homes to keep the price within range of middle-income buyers.
“If you’re trying to deliver single-family homes, you’re not going to be able to provide workforce housing and that’s really what we wanted to target,” Kretowicz said.
Michael Sabourin, Cornerstone president and COO, said that the Candlelight townhomes “were designed to meet the income parameters for middle income workers, something that is not east to find in the San Diego metro area.”
“We anticipate interest from small families to partners or single professionals looking for a highly desirable location with rich amenities that is convenient to employment centers, shopping, and transportation corridors,” Sabourin said.
Rising interest rates have kept some potential buyers out of the housing market and kept the inventory of existing homes on the market low.
“We anticipate mortgage interest rates will be dropping going into 2024. That will make our homes more affordable,” Kretowicz said. “The demand is definitely there.”
Kretowicz said the design of the townhomes will give the development a clean, city look. “What we’re finding is the buyer in the South Bay is moving away from the Spanish Mediterranean architecture more toward an updated urban architecture,” he said. “The balconies are more open. They’re not cluttered with a lot of pastel surfaces around them.”
Candlelight will have high-speed fiber-optic cable and the townhomes will have ethernet and coaxial cable outlets in the living rooms and bedrooms.
A tree-lined shaded paseo will have shaded outdoor workstations and free community Wi-Fi. The townhomes will have solar power, electric heat pumps and air conditioning with programable thermostats, and electric appliances.
Community amenities will include two pools with a spa and cabana, tot lots and a dog park.
Townhomes with upper decks will have an adjacent space for a work desk on the second floor. Other options will include space on the first floor for a home office with a closet and bathroom that has a separate entrance.
“It’s just kind of nice when you come in the front door, there’s the home office off to one side,” Kretowicz said.
The townhomes will have two-car garages wired for electric car charging stations.
Headquarters: La Jolla
CEO: Ure Kretowicz
Business: Housing developer
Notable: Cornerstone has received numerous design and achievement awards for its past projects including the prestigious Golden Nugget award for Aspire at Scripps Ranch, Encore at Scripps Ranch, Seaside in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and for its custom-designed homes showcased in the Tour d’Elegance, sponsored by the San Diego Building Industry Association.