By Iris Richmond. Although Lennar will build almost 30,000 homes in the suburbs of California this year, the builder thinks downtown may be the place to be. More infill projects are in the offing, says Bob Santos, Southern California division president. Lennar already has seven mixed-use projects in various stages of development throughout urban areas in the state.

"Downtowns are beckoning," says Santos, "and our customers want to live within walking distance of that culture."

Santos considers Bressi Ranch, a 585-acre development in Carlsbad, a prime example of the type of master planned communities the company wants to build and a harbinger of what's to come. The city's planning officials recently approved the project unanimously, something Santos says he's never seen before. He praises the project for smart-growth ingredients such as an employment center, a full range of housing, including assisted living, and a village town center. Lennar recruited for the first time the services of community designer Peter Calthorpe of Calthorpe and Associates in Berkeley, whom Santos hails as a guru of traditional town planning. Still in the final stages of approvals, Bressi Ranch starts construction later this year, with the grand opening scheduled for early 2004.

Photo: Courtesy Lennar Corp.

Pedestrian-friendly: Bressi Ranch, a master planned community in Carlsbad, Calif., will incorporate smart-growth features such as wide, tree-lined sidewalks. Lennar's plan calls for 523 single-family attached homes. Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, August 2002