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Villa Metro opens Saturday

New homes will include models with live-work lofts

Posted: August 11, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 11, 2013 2:00 a.m.
The New Home Company’s Senior VP of Sales, Marketing and Design, Joan Marcus-Covin, in the great room of the Terra model home of the Villa Metro community.  The New Home Company’s Senior VP of Sales, Marketing and Design, Joan Marcus-Covin, in the great room of the Terra model home of the Villa Metro community. 
The New Home Company’s Senior VP of Sales, Marketing and Design, Joan Marcus-Covin, in the great room of the Terra model home of the Villa Metro community. 
Dan Watson/The Signal Dan Watson/The Signal
Dan Watson/The Signal

Villa Metro, another new home community, is opening Aug. 17 in Santa Clarita and, marketing aside, this one seems to live up to its billing.

With live and work practices changing dramatically, this new development could be the model of the future.
The builder — The New Home Company — has changed the traditional sales model as well.

Visitors to the new homes are not forced to walk through fenced-off models — the gated community is open for new home shoppers to walk through the community to get a feel for what it would be like to live there.

“The New Home Company chooses not to build ‘trap fencing’ around its model homes. They want the prospective homebuyer to have the liberty to walk around different models as they choose and to engage the sales team when they choose,” said a spokesman for the company.

Three different communities exist at Villa Metro, and a fourth one — the live-work loft model — will come online in October.

Plans call for retail shops to be located on the first floor, and this section of the community will be open to the public at large.

Multiple model homes range in size from 1,081 square feet up to 1,981 square feet. Prices start at $300,000.
The original community plan called for 470 attached condos, but buyer interests changed eight years ago, said Joan Marcus-Colvin, The New Home Company’s senior vice president of sales, marketing and design.

“We’ll build 315 homes total,” she said. “There will be 293 single-family detached homes and 22 live-work lofts.”
And whether it’s a smaller home for young professionals or a larger home for families — all come with garages, access to “Main Street,” where the live-work units are under construction, a community vegetable garden and a recreation center with pool and gym.

This is the homebuilder’s first foray outside of Orange County in Southern California. It has divisions in Sacramento and the San Francisco area, Marcus-Colvin said.

The community has a Santa Barbara, somewhat Spanish-inspired architectural style — visible in the detailing outside the homes and building.

But, unlike other builders who hype their new home developments with catchy marketing words like villa, village or Mediterranean-style — Villa Metro, for the most part, lives up to its name.

For a brand new development, the area is already lushly landscaped, including olive trees. Sidewalks wind around the area and it’s more like a taking a stroll through a village.

Homes do not sit lined up side by side along the streets but rather sit back in true small village blocks, and although some of the corridors to the parking garages are narrow and rooms are smaller — that’s part of what gives the community and homes more of a European feel.

Built along the dry Santa Clara River bed, the homes all pick up views of the surrounding hills, which is surprising given the flat nature of the area.

Access to views must be attributed to some imagination, good planning and the fact that the homes are not built all in a row, traditional block style.

Sitting near the Metrolink train station, commuting professionals have just a short trip to connect with the trains.
A pedestrian bridge across Soledad Canyon Road is in the plans, said Marlee Lauffer, senior vice president, marketing and communications with Newhall Land. It’s a matter of securing land on the other side of Soledad and then the city signing off.

The entire community was designed with “connectability” to its Main Street, the community vegetable garden, paseos, bike trails and the Metrolink, Marcus-Colvin said.

The New Home Company’s design is also the last community in the original Valencia Master Plan, according to Lauffer.

Upon seeing the original plans, Newhall Land initially came up with the name Villa Metro because of its village feel and proximity to the Metrolink station, Lauffer said. But The New Home Company liked the name and kept it.




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