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Mission Valley Condos to Open This Summer

If the appeal of a condo in landlocked Mission Valley can lure its developer, Will Pfau, away from his prime La Jolla Shores residence, it is in for auspicious beginnings.

At the Lido , a townhome and condominium community on the San Diego River in Mission Valley , this spring, Pfau will move into his top-floor, 1,531-square-foot corner unit, by the larger of the two pools.

The development is close to the Westfield Shoppingtown Mission Valley mall and a stone’s throw from the trolley station in Mission Valley. When complete, it will feature 220 condominiums and townhomes in one-, two- and three-bedroom arrangements. Floor plans range in size from 1,171 to 1,798 square feet and are priced in the low $600,000s.

Pfau is not the only one who sees an opportunity to become a homeowner at the Lido. Bill Blogett, the comptroller of Carlsbad-based Concordia Homes, the developer of the project, has also purchased a unit, as has the head of the marketing firm representing the project. Two sales agents in Lido’s sales office have purchased homes as well, according to sales co-manager Colby Geller.

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Calling this new project “uptown living at the river’s edge,” Pfau said he is hoping to attract the Downtown buyer in search of elegant and comfortable living, but also easy access to dining and night life.

Pfau concedes that while many San Diegans are unaware of the existence of the San Diego River, the location of the development near the river’s edge will provide a resortlike atmosphere for leisurely living.

According to Geller, “Resort means first and foremost the river setting.”

“It blows everyone’s mind,” he said.

The Lido will also have resortlike amenities, including two pools, two spas, an exercise room, recreation room with plasma TV screens, a pool table, barbecue areas and cabanas, according to Geller.

Just because the development is replete with amenities does not mean the residents will pay more in homeowner association fees. The developers have managed to cap monthly fees in this community at $380, vs. similar developments Downtown, in which fees range from $300 to $900 per month.

The Lido has sold 175 of 220 units and is scheduled to have buyers move into homes in Phase One this summer.

Excavation work of the underground structure began in January and the concrete and steel shell will be finished in May. Both phases of the project are expected to be complete by October.

Concordia Homes has collaborated with Torrance-based Withee Malcolm Architects, LLC and development manager San Diego-based Urban Development Group to develop this project.


Builders Swoop Up Home Sites:

Two Southern California homebuilders , Forth Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton and Denver-based Richmond American Homes , said they will purchase 376 home sites in four neighborhoods at the planned residential community of San Elijo Hills in San Marcos.

San Elijo Hills is a 1,920-acre community planned for 3,400 attached and detached homes spanning 31 neighborhoods in North County.

D.R. Horton said it will build 131 attached condo units and 42 single-family detached homes under its Western Pacific Series brand. Richmond American will build 270 single-family detached homes. In the community, homes range from 1,200 to 4,000 square feet and are priced from the $400,000s to $1 million.

San Marcos-based San Elijo Development, LLC is grading the land now and the date at which escrow will close is unknown, according to the developer.


Home Prices Leveling Off?:

Although the median price of a home in San Diego County continued to increase last month, the rate of increase was the lowest of all counties in Southern California, according to La Jolla-based DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate information service.

The report also showed the number of new and resale homes sold in San Diego County last month declined more than 12 percent vs. the same month last year, for the biggest drop in the region.

The median price paid for a San Diego home was $472,000 last month vs. $406,000 in February 2004, for an increase of 16.3 percent. San Diego showed the least annual price increase of all counties in Southern California, where the average year-over-year median home price increase was 21.1 percent. Last month, San Diego’s median home price was also 1.3 percent lower than it was in January, when it came in at $478,000.

The median price paid in Southern California was $425,000 last month, a record. As of February, year-over-year home price increases in Southern California have been greater than 20 percent for 13 months in a row.

The most pronounced increase in home prices occurred in San Bernardino County, where the median price of a home rose more than 41 percent, from $207,000 in February 2004 to $292,000 last month.

The number of homes sold in San Diego last month slowed. In February, 3,442 homes were sold vs. 3,927 during the same month last year, a decrease of 12.4 percent. In Southern California, sales were down 7 percent from 23,004 in February 2004 to 21,394 in February 2005.


Late Lender:

San Diego-based Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co., listed on the Nasdaq as LEND, will file its annual report late, citing a need for more time to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 corporate governance regulations.

The company cited the shortened deadline it faces under its accelerated-filer status as a reason for filing for the extension, in a press release issued March 16. The non-prime mortgage lender said it has filed for a 15-day extension and expects to file the Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission by March 31.


Send residential and commercial real estate news to Heather Bergman via e-mail at hbergman@sdbj.com or via fax at (858) 571-3628. Call her at (858) 277-6359, Ext. 3114.

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