SHEA HOMES OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND Newport Beach, Calif.–based Urban Arena have teamed up on a project in Aliso Viejo, Calif., that aims to bring East Coast–style city living to the suburbs of Orange County. In addition to townhome models typically seen in Boston, the development, Vantis, will feature a concept called “soft urban,” says landscape architect Michael Schrock, principal of Urban Arena.
“There is nothing else quite like Vantis in all of southern Orange County,” says Schrock, who explains that the project will blend the excitement and convenience of urban areas with the quiet and open spaces of suburban locales.
So what exactly will soft urban entail? Instead of a traditional clubhouse, the project will offer a building that feels more like a lounge, Schrock explains. It will also include six “sense gardens” where residents may relax: a hearing garden with fountains and plants that attract birds; a smelling garden with night-blooming jasmine and a coffee cart in the morning; a taste garden with an outdoor gourmet kitchen; a touch garden, where residents can reserve a plot of land to grow their own flowers; a sight garden on a hill for viewing fireworks; and a sixth-sense garden, “where visitors can reflect, refresh, and envision,” Schrock says.
But Vantis will have houses, too. City Walk, one of three subdivisions, will have houses whose first floors are devoted to flexible office space. Latitudes North will features three-story row houses measuring 1,370 to 1,780 square feet. Latitudes South will have one-to-three-story courtyard townhomes.
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