CARLSBAD, CA—One of the reasons Carlsbad has been able tomaintain open space is that its 25-year overall plan is designed tokeep houses from being built on top of each other, PresidioResidential Capital's co-principal DonFaye tells GlobeSt.com. Presidio and CornerstoneCommunities have broken ground on the Reserve, a 635-unit community on 156acres—more than half of them designated as open space—that is beingbuilt on a former rock quarry in northeast Carlsbad. The retailvalue of the project, which will offer 293 single-family detachedluxury townhomes and 342 luxury apartments when it opens in 2016,will exceed $200 million. We spoke exclusively with Faye about theproject and why open space seems to be a key phrase when discussingCarlsbad development, as well as other trends he is noticing in theresidential-development arena.

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GlobeSt.com: Open space seems to be a key factor inCarlsbad development. Why is this the case, and how are developersapproaching the need for open space here?

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Faye: Every new project that's beingbuilt anywhere is required to have a certain amount of open space.You don't want a community that is really impacted by highdensity—you want open corridors and open spaces and walking trails.In this particular project, the Reserve, there's a stream runningthrough it and open space that won't be developed at all. Inaddition, there will be parks and walking trails and a recreationalfacility to serve the community. Almost every project, unless it'sa downtown high-rise, has open space built into it—it's not uniqueto Carlsbad. Carlsbad has been a very progressive city for a numberof years; it has spent 25 years in overall planning for additionalhousing, and it's done a very good job ofproviding a nice blend of retail services, openspace, walking trails and housing so that it's not a mass when yougo there. Flying over L.A., all you can see is street after street,house after house; there's very little open space. Carlsbad hasdone a great job with open space. It also has a lot of topographythat lends itself to open space so you don't have houses on top ofeach other.

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GlobeSt.com: What trends are you noticing in luxuryresidential development?

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Faye: As we've come out of the realestate depression of the mid- to late-2000s, generally houses havestarted to grow again, which is typically what happens. You have alot more technology in houses—they're much moreenergy-efficient, as it relates to both gas and electric and water.Every generation of new houses, every 10 years, has a whole newgeneration of appliances, architecture and features that areimproved and refined over those time frames. That's why generallypeople are willing to pay a premium for a new home over a resale ofa comparable size.

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GlobeSt.com: What is particularly unique for youabout the Reserve project?

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Faye: It's very close to freewayaccess at College Blvd., but you won't hear the noise from thefreeway. It will provide housing that's affordable for the Carlsbadmarketplace; it will have some rental units, and we're in theprocess of preparing for that. These will have 60 to 70affordable-housing units to try to meet the entirehousing stock for a particular area. It's close to bothrecreational, not too far from the beach and shopping—there's aWestfield shopping center is very close—andmarkets are there. It's a well-located piece of property forhousing.

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GlobeSt.com: What else should our readers know aboutthis project?

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Faye: You may have heard that when wedid the grading, we found some ancient bison bones. This was nottypical, but it didn't slow down development. Webrought an archeologist on board right away, trucked off the bonesand were able to resume grading within a day or so. The bonesprovided a little history of what happened in that area hundreds ofthousands of years ago, and it was unique to that particularproject.

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on GlobeSt.com and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.