The folks at Jenamar Communities had some hurdles to leap when it came to developing and building Jubilee at Hawks Prairie, an active adult community in Lacey, Wash. It was the first Pacific Northwest project for the Granite Bay, Calif.–based company, which focuses on the design and construction of master planned communities, active adult projects, and niche-oriented production housing. Jenamar's two partners, Jonathan Cohen and Mark Kaplan, had come across a beautiful site that already boasted two top-notch golf courses, but it was located in a part of Washington that hadn't seen much in the way of age-restricted communities.
“There was a mind-set in the state of Washington that people wouldn't go south of the Nisqually Reserve, beyond King and Pierce counties into Thurston County,” says Kaplan, Jenamar's vice chairman. But he and company chairman Cohen felt that the gorgeous site and its proximity to Puget Sound, I-5, the Sea-Tac Airport, and the charming town of Lacey all worked in their favor. They just had to offer the best houses and amenities possible. And that meant great architecture.
Jenamar wisely chose to go with a Northwest feeling, which meant any number of variations on the Craftsman style for both the homes and the 18,000-square-foot lodge. Seattle architect Dan Brobst got the single-family home assignment, coming up with 15 elevations to offer the 55 -and-over set.
Brobst didn't have to look far for inspiration. “In some of the old Seattle neighborhoods, such as Queen Anne and Capitol Hill, there are all different kinds of Craftsman homes with architectural details such as knee braces and tapered columns,” says Brobst. “We pulled from that, adding some sort of detail as we stepped up the elevations. We'd use board-and-batten on one, then a little stone, then shingles along with lap and stone, and finally some brick. This is the last home that most of this demographic will buy, so we wanted to make sure the houses had some appeal.”
Part of that appeal was an adventurous use of color. Interior designer Letty Rozell, owner of Designworks in Denver, countered the somewhat gray nature of the Pacific Northwest with a gutsy palette, on both the exterior walls and the trim. “Probably 90 percent of builders in the Northwest use bright white on the trim, but she used greens and reds on the fascia and corner boards, which really broke things up,” says Brobst.
A wide palette of colors is just one of many choices that homeowners have available to them at Jubilee. “When we started in the active adult business, we used an old Del Webb model that says each house is almost like a custom home,” says Kaplan. “At Jubilee, there are thousands of options available, which is complicated and takes a lot of work. But at this stage in life, people want to get what they want. We're not in the business of saying no. We're in the business of saying, ‘It's our pleasure to help you and give you what you want.'”
Not a bad business plan.
Project: Jubilee at Hawks Prairie, Lacey, Wash.; Size: 265 acres; Unit size: 1,156 to 2,584 square feet; Total units: 1,100 (at 2010 build-out); Price: $259,900 to $444,900; Builder/Developer/Land planner: Jenamar Communities, Granite Bay, Calif.; Architect: Brobst Design Works, Seattle; Landscape architect: Bradley Design Group, University Place, Wash.; Interior designer: Designworks, Denver