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From farm to The Enclave: SummerHill creates new neighborhood in Mountain View

Photo By: Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Photo By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier SummerHill Homes incorporated some of Grant Road Farm’s heritage trees in its new development, The Enclave at Waverly Park. The homes – created with different architectural styles to avoid a cookie-cutter aesthetic – feature open floor plans with lots of natural light and state-of-the-art kitchen spaces.

This story is for people who fondly remember the Farm Fresh Produce stand at the Grant Road Farm in Mountain View and who sadly watched as heritage trees were uprooted and the 15-acre site on Grant Road and Levin Avenue was cleared of all vestiges of agrarian life.

This happened a mere two years ago; however, the future of the property had been in jeopardy since 2007, after the family patriarch, Paul Mardesich, died and his daughters made plans to sell the land for development.

The farm had been operated by lessee David Schmitz, who grew corn and other produce and ran a popular pumpkin patch with train rides for children every October and a Christmas tree lot in December.

Along came SummerHill Homes with plans to build 53 single-family houses. As one would expect, those who wanted to see a working farm continue on the property mounted a vigorous campaign to keep the 5 acres as a farm. But to no avail.

The Mountain View City Council in 2009 approved the project and SummerHill began the design phase for the infrastructure – placement of utilities and streets – to accommodate the homes.


The Enclave takes shape

How often did motorists on busy Grant Road wonder what was going on behind the walls of what had been named The Enclave at Waverly Park? And what are those homes like?

Fast forward to this month.

“Only two models are left,” said Mark Druge, SummerHill sales manager. “People say, ‘I remember the pumpkin patch,’ but they have been quite positive.”

There are trees in The Enclave – some of which are heritage trees that were preserved – and well-nurtured lawns and gardens. “This is a very traditional project that blends in with the surrounding neighborhood,” Druge said.

The 2,500- to 3,000-square-foot homes, on 8,000-square-foot lots, are not out of place amid the area’s single-family housing developments of the 1970s.

And, because there are variations of five architectural styles, it feels like a neighborhood and not a cookie-cutter subdivision.

On Mansfield Drive, for example, are a French Normandy-style two-story home with copper trim, a two-story Craftsman, a single-story Mediterranean-style home and a two-story Spanish Revival home.

“The Enclave is a good fit in the neighborhood,” Druge said. “And the surrounding area benefits from the increase in property values.”

Natalie Viviani, community sales manager, has a close bond with The Enclave.

“It was a rare opportunity to see this much raw land at a time when there was an enormous demand for new homes,” she said. “The floor plans were appealing, as were the lot sizes. More importantly, it is a green community.”

All homes are solar-powered – a first for SummerHill, which previously had offered options to homebuyers. And they boast energy-efficient features such as tankless hot-water systems, Energy Star appliances, low-flow Kohler toilets and high-efficiency irrigation systems. Among green features are low VOC paints and materials.

“They’re designed to be GreenPoint rated,” Viviani said.

Starting last year, SummerHill released the homes in small groupings – four to seven at a time – and ranged from “the high $1.7s to $2.3 million,” according to Viviani.

Homeowner dues are $60 per month, which pays for common landscaping – a small triangle of land at La Salle Drive and Levin Avenue, which is parklike.

Of the 53 homes, 25 are occupied and others are nearing completion. On any given morning, people are out walking their dogs, jogging or heading to work.


A sneak peek at model homes

For the curious who want to know what the houses are like inside, here’s a peek at the two remaining model homes.

“Residence 1,” at 2700 Pavo Lane, is a single-story, 2,900-square-foot, three-bedroom, 2.5-bath traditional-style home.

“Single-story homes are rare in new developments, and to find one with 10-foot ceilings is rarer,” Viviani said.

In this case, the ceiling rises to nearly 13 feet in the great room, which is the hub of the house. It includes the kitchen, a bay window “nook” and a living/dining area with fireplace.

Smoked oak floors set on the diagonal are a distinctive touch, as is the Old World texture of the walls. Kitchen countertops are honed leather granite with lively backsplashes. And the Viking Professional series appliances include a six-burner range, warming drawer and wine refrigerator.

An especially nice feature is the “Jack and Jill” bathroom shared by two of the bedrooms, each with its own sink and vanity, creating a more personal space.

“Residence 3,” next door at 2710 Pavo Lane, is a 2,892-square foot, four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom two-story home with Spanish Colonial influences. A large front porch, enclosed by a low brick wall, is roomy enough for entertaining. But the pièce de résistance is the backyard with its outdoor kitchen, pergola, brick fireplace and playhouse.

The kitchen, a cook’s dream, features a built-in wok burner, a hot-water spigot over a Viking range, a warming oven and a butler’s pantry. Caesarstone countertops are easy care and easy on the eye. Backsplashes feature stone and glass tile.

The main living area and the master bath boast limestone floors throughout.

“Everything was done right,” Viviani said of The Enclave development.

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