Imagine a 24-acre parcel of brown dirt, dust and dried, crispy sagebrush in Palm Springs being transformed into a gated, mini oasis of 163 upscale homes with majestic views of the San Jacinto Mountains.
“It is just crying out for something that is useful and a piece of art, if you will,” said Mickie L. Riley, president and founder of the La Quinta-based Rilington Group.
The transformation Riley envisions is underway at the northeast corner of South Farrell Drive and East Baristo Road. The corner, the future home of “Vibe” has been a hubbub of activity since last week.
The Palm Springs Planning Commission approved the final plans for the project on Feb. 8, 2017, according to Flinn Fagg, director of Planning Services.
The development will include 91 “cluster homes.” There will be three- and five-unit clusters. They’re made up of duplexes and single family homes. One unit is a duplex and one unit in the cluster is detached. There will also be 72 single family units.
The goal is to have the first models open in November, Riley said. Prices have not yet been fully determined, but Riley said the cluster homes will probably be in the low $500,000 range while the single-family homes are expected to be in the $700,000 range.
Riley, who moved his company from San Diego to the desert in 2002, said building in Palm Springs was an obvious choice.
“It is one of the most dynamic markets and areas in the world because of everything it has to offer,” Riley said. “There’s the weather, the culture, the dynamic views of the mountains, and everything that goes along with it. Now, with the recent rebirth of Palm Springs, with the downtown area, and development over the last several years, it’s just a great place to do business. It’s a great place to visit, great place to live. We are very excited about being a part of that community. We want to be a vibrant part of the community.”
His love of the city paired with the location of Vibe was a homebuilder’s paradise.
“It’s strategically located and very close to downtown,” Riley said. “It’s close to facilities. It has great mountain views and it’s close to the airport. It really has everything that we feel comfortable with as a real estate developer, home builder, as well as marketing and sales company. The thing that is attractive, it’s a diverse type of product. Again, I mean that because of the cluster design. For somebody that wants a little smaller home at a little more affordable price can buy into cluster and still get the high quality.”
They can get their own back yard and their own little mini spool, the same as the single-family detached homes, which are a little bigger, a little more expensive, but they can have that same location with all the amenities, Riley said.
It doesn’t always boil down to dollars and cents, he said. It’s based on what you want, whether you are a part-time of full-time resident, and more. It offers that opportunity and affords the buying community the ability to come in and pick a home that fits their lifestyle and also fits the size of home they want, the amenity, and the price point.
“It’s a modern architectural design, which is not only fantastic but it’s very well received in Palm Springs,” Riley said. “It’s almost demanded in Palm Springs. It has to be current. It has to be fresh, clean. The colors have to be bright. I don’t mean chartreuse. They just have to be current colors. So, you take a look at that design, along with the colors and the landscaping. The amenities, the landscaping, sitting areas, and the mountain views all create this little mini oasis of 163 homes, right in the center of the activity.”
Riley said he and his group like to build projects in communities they love and for a reason.
“The reason is that not only is there demand, but it’s something that you’re creating that’s special,” Riley said. “I think everybody that comes into Vibe is going to recognize that. I’m just really, really excited about this and that area. Not only is it going to look good, but it’s going to create housing for people that want to live there.”
The Rilington Group recently finished Vallera Palm Springs at Village Traditions in Palm Springs, which is located two blocks East of Palm Canyon Drive and North of Ramon Road, just off El Segundo. Vallera is a community of 52 detached homes,
“It’s been a marvelous project for us,” Riley said. We have, I think, four houses left to sell out of a 52 unit community. So, we’re just wrapping that up. We’re thrilled to be a part of Vibe based on everything I just said about our love for the city of Palm Springs.”