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Japanese Builder Planning First U.S. Project in SoCal

REAL ESTATE: Targeting San Diego County Commuters

A Japanese company that is among the largest homebuilders in the world has chosen Temecula as the site of its first single-family home development in the U.S.

Sekisui House is bringing its SHAWOOD flagship brand of single-family homes to Southern California with plans to build 57 homes in Temecula, “with other areas in Southern California and the Southwest following soon, said Erin Willis, chief insights and marketing officer for Sekisui House.

The company chose Temecula for its first U.S. project, in part, because of its relatively easy commute to San Diego County, Los Angeles, and other employment centers, to Palm Springs for getaways, and for the community’s reputation of having good schools, Willis said.

SHAWOOD has built six pilot homes in Las Vegas, but never as part of a housing development.

Erin Willis
Chief Insights and Marketing Officer
Sekisui House

“Each of these six had unique designs and at a higher price point,” Willis said, adding that those in Temecula will be priced from $1 million up.

The Temecula project will be part of the Sommers Bend Master Plan, which is expected to have 1,500 homes when complete.

The Sommers Bend name is derived from the word sommelier and its location in Temecula’s wine country at a bend in the road around the site, according to the master plan developer, Woodside Homes.

Although they will be part of a development, Willis said that the homes in Sommers Bend “will be able to be personalized to each homebuyer starting with one of the available seven floor plans.”

Model homes are scheduled to open in fall 2023.

“We expect SHAWOOD to appeal to a wide range of customers and demographics, with a focus on households looking to make a prestige-based home purchase,” Willis said.

Precision Building

Built on lots of one-third to one-half acre, the homes will be from 3,203 square feet to 4,974 square feet and will range from a three-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom model to a four- to five-bedroom, 4.5 to 5.5-bathroom model.

The homes will have a courtyard, a morning kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows and garages for up to four cars.

A guest casita and wine rack are optional.

“These homes are different from any other home being built today anywhere, but especially anything that exists in Southern California at any price,” Willis said.

The homes will be built using a post and beam form of construction in which structures are built with vertical posts and horizonal beams. Metal brackets and steel plates join the timbers and hold the structure together.

Willis said that the method “brings absolute precision to construction,” and “allows the home to have wide open spaces, increase the window size” and have exposed wooden beams within the ceiling.

“These homes are precise up to two millimeters – the width of 2 pennies – due to the way they are constructed on site with bolts and backets versus typically constructed homes that have a lot of margin of error due to onsite cutting and nailing without brackets,” Willis said, adding that little lumber is wasted as a result.

The homes will be energy efficient and arranged on lots to reduce sun exposure and increase air flow.

Materials will be shipped from Japan, but the homes will be built on site, Willis said, using exterior finishes designed to be fire resistant and experience less fading from the sun.

“We pursue a unique living space that resonates with the five senses, such as comfortable to touch, easy to operate, and beautiful appearance in addition to safety and security and ease of use,” Willis said.

Sekisui House

Founded: 1960
Headquarters: Osaka, Japan
CEO: Yoshihiro Nakai
Business: Housing development
Employees: 14,932
Website: sekisuihouse.co.jp/English
Contact: https://shawood.com/contact-us/a
Notable: As of January 2023, Sekisui House had built 2.6 million homes worldwide.

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