The Future Of Costa Mesa Housing?
At the suggestion of an acquaintance who posted on Nextdoor, my wife and I visited a brand new housing development in Costa Mesa Saturday morning - Taylor Morrison's 60-unit live/work development - Level 1 - at the corner of Newport Boulevard and Industrial Way. You can read Bradley Zint's Daily Pilot article HERE, and view Don Leach's photo gallery HERE.
My first reaction as we approached the project from our parking spot along Industrial Way was that it looked pretty darn stark, but I admit that's a matter of personal taste. We had arrived just after they opened for business and the place was already humming, with lots of Looky-Lous and potential buyers wandering around, brochures in hand. We didn't waste much time in the sales office - the garage area of the first of two models open for viewing - but just grabbed some paperwork and scampered around the corner to see the units. We'd chat with the sales staff later.
"WORK" AREA COULD BE BEDROOM
The first floor in each of the units is the "work" segment of the live/work concept. Each of the first floor units had garage-type roll-up doors as a wall, in addition to entry doors from the garage and the "street". Each "work" element seemed small, but probably practical as an office for an accountant, graphic designer or consultant. Each had a half-bath, with a toilet, sink and a walk-in shower, which surprised me. I thought the original plan just called for a powder room. With this configuration those first-floor elements are an easy conversion into another bedroom.
To reach the second floor living area you trudge up 17 stairs. In the larger units - with 3 bedrooms - you walk up to a landing, make a 180 turn and finish the climb. In the smaller units you take a long, straight hike up 17 stairs. In addition to the living spaces - kitchen and living room - there is a powder room.
AND 17 MORE...
The sleeping floor is the 3rd - another 17 stairs - and each one has two bathrooms plus a closet for stacked washer and dryer. The rooms were large enough and the view will be nice once the construction is completed.
TAKE OXYGEN - 18 MORE STAIRS TO THE ROOF
If you want to access the rooftop patio you must navigate 18 stairs, but the hike is worth it. The views are terrific - we could see all the way past Hoag Hospital to the ocean. Of course, in the foreground was Carls, Jr. and Taylor's Trim Shop across Industrial Way. Because these units are attached, it's possible to climb from one roof top patio to the next.
DEFINE "WORK", PLEASE
On the way out I asked the sales staff just what kind of "work" folks would be doing in those 1st floor units? Parking is minimal and they told me that no retail would be permitted. They were not amused when I suggested that, with the addition of that 1st floor bathroom, one of the world's oldest professions might work out just fine. A friend suggested that the rooftop patios might make lovely marijuana plantations, with a "dispensary" on the 1st floor. Actually, as I said above, I will not be surprised at all if those 2 and 3 bedroom units end up as 3 and 4 bedroom units, and rental units, to boot. We'll see.
OR... A REHAB ENCLAVE!
Another thought crossed my mind - an entrepreneur might buy a block of those units and combine them for use as rehabilitation homes. Let's see how that might pencil-out... If you buy 2, 2-bedroom units and 2, 3-bedroom units that are contiguous for about $3 million and house 20 "residents" in them at $8,000 - $10,000 per month each... doesn't take long to make a profit. Just sayin'...
DID I LIKE THEM?
Did I like these units, which range from around $747,000 for the smaller one to $841,000 for the larger, which is just under 2000 square feet? Yeah, I think so, but they're not for me. Too many stairs, too close to your neighbors, not enough guest parking, too much ambient traffic noise and just too congested. I doubt if you'll see ANY children in these units - there's no place for them to play and it's located in the middle of an industrial area. That being said, we saw lots of people putting on hardhats for tours of units under construction.
MORE CONGESTION ON THE WAY