Featured on the Los Angeles Daily News – August 2018
In the middle of a park-opening ceremony, before the ribbon was even cut, 1-year-old Alina Marin took the inaugural ride down the slide at San Fernando Road Park—the newest park in Sylmar, which opened Monday.
Officials said that this park represents a larger effort by the city of Los Angeles to increase the number of recreation areas in historically park-poor neighborhoods, like Sylmar.
“As we continue to build housing, we need to create the open space that allows families to come out and recreate, and have healthy lifestyles,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who represents the city’s 7th District.
Measuring 10,500 square feet, officials are calling it a “pocket park.” Surrounded by brand-new single-family homes, the park is largely concrete and soft rubber, with a border of woodchips and drought-tolerant landscaping—dotted by a handful of small trees and patches of grass. It has a small play area for children, picnic tables, benches, and some fitness equipment.
While still under construction, the housing development around the park will eventually have 84 homes—all four-bedroom units and 1,500 square feet — that cost around $500,000 each. Shawn Evenhaim, chief executive officer of California Home Builders, is the project’s developer. He calls it “workforce-housing.”
“We keep talking about low-income housing, but it’s the workforce,” Evenhaim said. “That’s what we’re missing.”
The park sits at 12395 Aragon Way, in the heart of residential Sylmar—a couple miles from retail and restaurant space. Just on the other side of San Fernando Road, trains regularly pass with horns blaring. Still, the park is a draw for residents.
“That’s one of the reasons we got this house,” said Alina’s father, Julio Marin, who moved into the neighborhood last year. He’s been waiting for it to open. “The nearest park is about two miles away, all uphill,” he said.
Marin is one of about four-dozen residents living in this new development. In negotiations with the city, developers and officials at one point considered using the parcel for retail space, but opted for a park instead.
Anthony-Paul Diaz, chief of staff for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, lauded the move.
“We like development in the City of Angels,” he said. “But at the same time, we want to value our open space, which is precious and not abundant in the city of Los Angeles.”
In 2016, the County of Los Angeles released a study of residents’ access to parks. It found that 51% of the population did not have a park within a half-mile of their home. In Sylmar, 65% of the population lacks access to a park within a half-mile of their homes. The San Fernando Road Park, which opened today, is situated in one of the neighborhood’s highest-need areas, according to the study.
Tori Kjer, Los Angeles program director for the Trust for Public Land, has been an advocate for more parks in the northeast San Fernando Valley and the rest of Los Angeles County. She’s pleased with the city’s progress in recent years.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but some good groundwork has been laid,” she said, noting that the biggest challenge is securing the funding that will bring parks to the communities that need them most. But, on that front, the future is looking better and better.
The land used to build the San Fernando Road Park was donated by California Home Builders to the city. The city used fees, paid by the developer, to build the park for $317,000. Those fees were specifically earmarked to build new parks and improve old ones.
Since 2017, most housing development projects have had to pay these fees. It ensures that parks are getting incorporated into new pieces of the urban landscape, Kjer said. But that’s just one source of revenue that fuels her optimism.
In 2016, Los Angeles County passed Measure A with 75% of voters supporting the tax. In its first year, the measure generated $95.4 million in revenue for parks across the county. The Board of Supervisors has spent the past year deciding how those funds will be disbursed and they’re expected to vote on a final decision in the coming months.
Kjer is also optimistic about Proposition 68, which passed in June. It allocated $2 billion in the governor’s budget for park development.
“Everyone needs access to high-quality parks, but we want to make sure that the communities that don’t have access are prioritized,” she said. That seems to be a sentiment shared by officials.
City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez recently secured the funding to build another park in Sylmar and she’s aiming to build a third in North Hills.
But for young Alina Marin, none of those matter when she’s conquering the slide that’s right outside her front door.
“She loves being at the park,” her father said. “I’m really glad that it’s part of the community.”
Featured in the San Fernando Business Journal – July 2018
Featured in The San Fernando Business Journal – December 2018
Another Q Building Planned for Warner Center
Architecture firm Newman Garrison + Partners has shared its first look at the Q at Erwin, its latest project in a network of mixed-use residential buildings, all called Q, in Warner Center under development by California Home Builders in Canoga Park. Construction is slated to begin in 2020 and end in 2023 for the seven-story residential tower. “Q at Erwin continues to embody the ultimate lifestyle approach that is fast becoming part of the Q branding network,” Newman Garrison Principal Kevin Newman told the Business Journal. Q at Erwin will consist of 110,000 square feet of property at Erwin and Variel, just east of Westfield’s Topanga and Village malls. “Q at Erwin will become the third development on Erwin; the other two are Q East, at the opposite corner of Erwin and Variel, while Q at De Soto will anchor the intersection of De Soto and Erwin,” Newman explained. The structure will feature five levels of wood-frame construction above a concrete base. The building will have 259 residential units, above ground-floor commercial space and 493 parking spaces. On the commercial side, the development will feature 51,684 square feet of restaurant and retail space and 17,993 square feet in amenity areas, including a central courtyard with swimming pool and multiple lounge areas. With plans unveiled for the Q at Erwin, four of the five buildings in the Q queue have been announced. Each of the hotel-like residential developments promises to deliver full concierge service and valet parking and socially oriented amenities, such as rooftop lounges with sky terraces, wine rooms, screening rooms, large fitness facilities, which include social lounges, massage rooms, yoga, Pilates and spin classes, among others.
Feature in The San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Design of Fourth Q Building in Warner Center Unveiled
Architecture and design firm Newman Garrison + Partners has released images for its Q East, one of five Q developments in partnership with Canoga Park-based California Home Builders currently under construction in Woodland Hills. The fourth building in the Q network to be announced by the Costa Mesa firm, the Warner Center mixed-use luxury building will occupy the intersection of Erwin Street and Variel Avenue, directly across from the in-progress Q on Erwin, which was announced last week. Still pending is the fifth Q, named Q at DeSoto, at DeSoto and Erwin. Similar in design and features to its Q network counterparts, Q East, with its 241 units, stands on 3.22 acres and includes 46,345 square feet of commercial and retail space and roughly 8,572 square feet of outdoor space. Amenities will include a poolside lounge, gourmet teaching kitchen, game room and outdoor lounge with TV screens and a fireplace. There will also be a 7,500-square-foot fitness and yoga studio. A raised two-story creative office space with a rooftop terrace will overlook the plaza below. “Since there are five Q developments, the challenge has been to create different lifestyle amenities within each development while staying true to the overall brand,” architect Kevin Newman of Newman Garrison told the Business Journal. “Each development is consistent with a specific lifestyle approach, each project is carefully designed to promote diversity within the brand.” The goal of California Home Builders and Newman Garrison + Partners with the Q endeavor is to tap into the millennials market of young professionals and bi-coastal residents, according to Newman.
Featured in Daily News – January 2019
Featured on “The Real Deal” – March 2019
California Home Builders lands $90M construction loan for Warner Center project
Thursday, March 14, 2019
California Home Builders landed a construction loan for Q West, a big residential project set to rise at Warner Center. The project is one of three developments California Home Builders proposed or in construction in the booming area.
U.S. Bank provided the $90 million financing on the Topanga Canyon Boulevard project, title documents show.
Once completed, Q West will have 347 units and 18,000 square feet of commercial space. It is the sister project of Q East, a 241-unit building already underway at the corner of Variel Avenue and Erwin Street.
Shawn Evenhaim, founder and CEO of the California Home Builders, said Q West is under construction and expected to be completed in two years.
Architecture firm Newman Garrison + Partners designed the entire site, which will feature retail space, along with amenities like a swimming pool and outdoor decks.
The developer received a construction permit, valued at $63.8 million, for Q West in November 2018. It was the largest permit awarded in Los Angeles County that month.
In November 2017, the Canoga Park-based builder proposed constructing a third mixed-use tower at De Soto Avenue, nearby. Spanning 290,120 square feet, the seven-story building is slated to include 358 apartments above ground floor retail.
The Warner Center, located in the Woodland Hills area, has become a hotbed for development thanks to the Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan, adopted in 2013. A new report by L.A. city planners shows the area will see about 24,000 residential units and 28 million square feet of office and commercial space by 2035.
Featured in Multi-Housing News – March 2018
Newman Garrison + Partners Bringing TOD to CA
Construction on the 352-unit project in Woodland Hills is expected to commence in 2019 and is slated for completion by 2022.
Newman Garrison + Partners, along with West California Home Builders, is set to develop a 352-unit mixed-use property in Woodland Hills, Calif. The transit-oriented development will also feature hotel units and live/work spaces. Construction is expected to commence in 2019 and is slated for completion by 2022.
Located at the Erwin & DeSoto intersection, the property will occupy 3.7 acres near Freeway 101, East of Westfield’s Topanga Village Mall, approximately 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. As a transit-oriented development, the property will be located alongside the DeSoto/Erwin bus stops.
The mixed-use development will comprise a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, designed based on sustainability. Communal areas will feature a 12,400-square-foot club lounge and outdoor sky terrace lounge, 11,000 square feet of fitness center and indoor movie space, and an additional 22,000-square-foot public outdoor space. The property will also include 69,000 square feet of non-residential space featuring retail, restaurants, offices and a spa.
Featured in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Developer to Inaugurate New Park in Sylmar
A new park will be inaugurated in Sylmar on Monday. San Fernando Park is located at the entrance to the Cabrillo Collection, a community of 84 single-family homes developed by California Home Builders. “The park is part of the development and is being completed as we complete the project soon,” California Home Builders Chief Executive Shawn Evenhaim told the Business Journal. The Canoga Park-based developer will celebrate the grand opening of San Fernando Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday at 10:30 a.m. Evenhaim, along with representatives of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and Seventh District City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez are scheduled to attend. “We are proud to continue to build and improve communities across the city by providing unique and quality homes at affordable prices,” Evenhaim said. “This new park will not only make a difference in the lives of our new homebuyers, but it will make a difference in the lives of many in this community.” Built in partnership between the company and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks on lots donated by Evenhaim’s company, the 10,500-square-foot park includes a play area, picnic benches, fitness station and drought-tolerant landscaping. It is located at 12395 W. Aragon Way. In Woodland Hills, CHB is currently developing five Warner Center residential towers totaling about 1,400 residential units under its “Q” brand, due online by 2020.
Featured in Urbanize on April 2018
Q East, located at the northeast corner of Erwin Street and Variel Avenue, will consist of a seven-story building featuring 241 apartments, a parking garage, and street-level commercial uses.
Architecture firm Newman Garrison + Partners designed the podium-type structure, which will include amenities such as a swimming pool and a rooftop lounge.
Completion of Q East is anticipated in 2019.
The project is one of four ongoing Warner Center developments from California Home Builders, joining its sister building Q West on Variel Avenue, a five-story condo complex on Vanowen Street, and a 358-unit proposal at De Soto Avenue and Erwin Street.