The 518-acre master planned community of Rosedale in Azusa, a former agricultural hotbed in Southern California, has begun to show signs of life. But it took a solid decade's worth of community based planning and entitlement effort for the roots of this neighborhood to catch hold.

In April, the infill community–tucked up against the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains some 25 miles east of Los Angeles–held its official model home opening to introduce product offerings from Taylor Woodrow Homes, Christopher Homes, and Fieldstone Communities.

On the former site of Azusa's last agricultural vestige–the Monrovia Nursery, in business since 1954–the Rosedale family worked closely with city planners to create a distinct urban infill community that preserves the heritage of the region. The resulting land plan, dubbed the Monrovia Nursery Specific Plan, focuses on the environment, emphasizes mobility and mixed uses, and offers a variety of residential product types that target move-up home buyers.

TAKING ROOT: The new community of Rosedale in Azusa, Calif., brings a unique infill land plan with New Urbanism influences to the San Gabriel Valley. Photo: Courtesy Azusa Land Partners Azusa Land Partners is master developer of the project, which includes 11 residential neighborhoods, and a total of 1,250 attached and single-family homes. The entity is a joint venture of PLC Land Co. and Fieldstone Communities, both of Newport Beach, Calif., as well as Greenwich, Conn.?based Starwood Capital and Boston-based Rockpoint Group.

As of mid-May, the majority of site work was complete on the project's 300 developable acres, with backbone streets paved and nearly 90 percent of the single- family lots graded.

With an interest list containing more than 6,000 registered names, it's not surprising that Bill Holman, vice president of planning for Azusa Land Partners reports that traffic has been strong. But converting the leads to sales has proven a bit more challenging.

Like many new communities around the country, "sales are a little slow," but builders and the developer are holding the line on pricing and incentives. "This is by far the largest and last remaining project of its size in the Valley," says Holman. "We have easy access to the transportation corridor off of the [Interstate] 215. When the market stabilizes a bit, our location will be a real benefit."

In addition to the other three builders active in the community, William Lyon Homes is currently building models in two Rosedale neighborhoods and is expected to begin selling later this summer or early fall. Holman predicts that with the lowest price points in the community, a lot of pent-up interest is likely to kick-start sales for the entire community. Though pricing has not been released, Holman speculates that their product will begin somewhere in the $400,000 range.

According to Holman, major community amenities–including an expansive 4,600 square-foot recreation center with pool, spa, and picnic areas–will be in place by year-end and he's confident those features will further enhance buyer appeal. At this point, it's a construction zone and we are asking buyers to be visionaries. Having those tangible elements in place will go a long way toward showing people what Rosedale really has to offer."

–Lisa Marquis Jackson

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA.