William Lyon Homes delivers on the promise to build quality neighborhoods where families can achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Under the stewardship of their namesake, General William Lyon, chairman emeritus, the company is led by a team of seasoned professionals whose knowledge, vision and authority continue to inspire confidence and loyalty from one generation to the next.
William Lyon Homes is continuing to facilitate a process to determine how Dove Canyon Plaza can best serve the community and its housing needs. Earlier this year, we met with the Dove Canyon HOA Board, Dove Canyon HOA, SAMLARC, Trabuco Canyon Water District and held two Open House events in Dove Canyon Plaza, which were attended by more than 325 people. We took the information, comments and feedback and created a new site plan.
After our extensive community outreach and detailed market research we are excited to start the process by submitting an application to the City of Rancho Santa Margarita today. You can review our application and alternatives on the City’s website.
Our proposal is for a gated community of 123 for-sale, market-rate townhomes. The townhomes range in size from 1,515 square feet to 2,065 square feet. Plan 1 is a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath with a two-car garage. Plan 2 is a 3-bedroom, 3-bath with a three-car garage. Plan 3 is a 4-bedroom, 3,5-bath, with a two-car garage. Pricing has not been set and subject to change based on market conditions at the time of sale. We anticipate that sales prices could be in the $600,000’s
The City has a very deliberative and transparent regulatory process for consideration of projects such as ours. Technical experts will study various factors, including traffic, noise, dust and other potential impacts, as part of a City-prepared environmental impact report (EIR). After the public has a chance to review and comment on the EIR for 45 days, the City’s Planning Commission and City Council will review the document and consider it for certification and approval.
Residents will have multiple opportunities to provide comments and input throughout this permitting process, which is expected to take over a full year to complete.
Going forward we will be engaging in small group and one-on-one meetings, as well as communications through our website.
DOVE CANYON PLAZA
In the 80s, as families moved into the Rancho Santa Margarita planned community area including the neighboring Robinson Ranch, Dove Canyon, Rancho Cielo, Trabuco Highlands and Walden communities, they needed places to shop and dine. Initially featuring a grocery store, restaurants and service-oriented businesses, Dove Canyon Plaza sought to capture the growing demand for retail centers.
As the area grew in population, retail centers were concentrated in Rancho Santa Margarita proper and higher-traffic locations. As a result, sales began to decline at Dove Canyon Plaza as shoppers were drawn to the better locations and efficiencies of the larger centers.
The center continued to struggle and the original developer was foreclosed upon in 1994. As tenants vacated, the center slowly transitioned from retail to service-oriented businesses, with the main tenant being a fitness center.
Tenants have often complained, saying the location of the center is hidden with minimal pass-by traffic. Numerous businesses, including at least five restaurants, have gone out of business in the center over the last 26 years.
A real estate investor purchased the property in January 2016 with the intention of determining the best use of the property. The real estate investor continues to evaluate both the existing retail use as well as possible redevelopment of the site. They made several capital improvements, including exterior painting, improved signage and upgraded landscaping in order to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal and boost traffic.
CHANGES TO RETAIL
The Internet has changed the way we shop. Online sales now account for almost 13% of all sales in the US, and that number continues to grow. It is estimated that, by the year 2021, almost 18% of all spending will be done online.
In the general merchandise market, retailers have begun shrinking store sizes and consolidating multiple stores into a single location, resulting in a much lower growth rate for retail sales.
Even those of us who do not regularly buy online search online for prices, product specifications and availability before heading to whichever retailer offers the best price.
Retailers recognized that the Internet has transformed the way that customers shop, re-shaping retail centers into service and fast-casual dining centers as a result.
While there remains a retail market for specialty items such as groceries, automotive, tools and appliances, the online market for consumer goods such as electronics, computers and entertainment products is responsible for up to 60% of all sales.
DOVE CANYON PLAZA
Dove Canyon Plaza has struggled for years as a retail center, and it’s getting worse, not better. Spanning the last 20 years, only six of the 28 tenants remain in the center. As you may be aware, San Giovanni Ristorante, Canyon Spa and Nails, The People’s Pharmacy and others have all closed their doors over the last 24 months. Even though the rents have stayed the same or in some cases even dropped, it has become apparent that a commercial center simply doesn’t work in this location. To be clear, there are no plans to terminate any existing leases. However, with retail struggling in this location and throughout the region, it’s time to begin planning what type of project works for this space.
William Lyon Homes is facilitating a process to determine how Dove Canyon Plaza can best serve the community and its housing needs. The City has a very deliberative and transparent regulatory process to consider an alternate use for the property. We are currently seeking input from our neighbors to develop a design that best fits within the community. The table below lays out the City’s rigorous review process of a design proposal for Paloma Square.
Technical experts will study various factors, including traffic, noise, dust and other potential impacts, as part of an environmental impact report (EIR). After the public has a chance to review and comment on the EIR for 45 days, the City’s Planning Commission and City Council will review the document and consider it for certification and approval. Residents will have multiple opportunities to provide comments and input throughout this permitting process, which is expected to take most of 2019. Currently, the process has not yet begun.