Priced to Sell
Chaparral Creek, Escondido, Calif.

WHY IT WORKED: It’s not easy to find a new Southern California neighborhood in an established suburban area with homes that start under $500,000. The average price of homes in the area is well over the half-million-dollar mark.

-- Street alignment in the community created detours that might have confused visitors in the neighborhood. Shea Homes solved the issue with extensive signage and sales reps who are conscientious about giving directions.

-- There are no HOA dues or Mello-Roos taxes here, so buyers aren’t burdened with the kinds of fees that can add hundreds to a family’s monthly costs. (Mello-Roos is a form of taxation used by a number of California communities to finance new infrastructure.)

-- With up to five bedrooms available, the three family-size plans offer more than what’s expected. The best-selling Plan 2 (shown) even has a small library tucked at the top of the stairs.

Mix It Up
Burr Ridge Village Center, Burr Ridge, Ill.

WHY IT WORKED: The town-center concept struck a chord with a variety of buyers, including young professionals, second-home buyers, and empty-nesters. The condos available at this nine-building, mixed-use development are the area’s only apartment-style offerings.

-- A mix of luxury lofts, luxury condominiums, and estate condominiums gives buyers plenty of choices.

-- The popular G1 Plan (shown) offers 2,384 square feet with three bedrooms and three baths. This unit has been especially popular with empty-nesters, who are often downsizing from a large single-family home.

-- An eclectic assortment of national and local retailers will fill 200,000 square feet of lifestyle retail space. One tenant will be a Kohler Waters Spa, which, until now, only had locations in Kohler, Wis., and St. Andrews, Scotland.

High-Style High-Rises
Midtown Reston Town Center, Reston, Va.

WHY IT WORKED: Reston Town Center has already proven itself to be a vibrant example of urban planning in a suburban location, especially when it comes to offering plenty of retail, restaurants, and office space. What it lacked were dynamic places to live in the heart of the mixed-use district. These two 21-story towers fill the bill.

-- Myriad on-site amenities include a fitness center, a theater lounge, pools, and recreation and social spaces (including a demonstration kitchen).

-- The developer did extensive market research in the master planning, designing, and programming of this pair of condo towers, especially when it came to the project’s target market: empty-nesters and childless professionals.

-- A large kitchen and glass-enclosed space helped make the Rainier plan (shown) a best seller.

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