Newport developer hopes to lure boomers with $1.5-$4M condos

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With condominiums featuring contemporary, Mediterranean-inspired architecture, expansive windows and open floor plans, The New Home Co. hopes to offer baby boomers a luxurious way to downsize in Newport Beach.

The Aliso Viejo-based developer in December wrapped up the first of a three-phase construction project called Meridian, which will boast 79 high-end condominiums priced between $1.5 million and $4 million.

Builders broke ground in 2013 on Santa Barbara Drive in Newport Center — an area of the city that hasn’t seen new residential development in about 20 years — within walking distance of Fashion Island.


“To be able to offer a homebuyer a walkable experience that’s literally steps away from one of the most sought-after open-air retail centers is unique in Orange County,” said Joan Marcus-Colvin, senior vice president of sales, marketing and design with The New Home Co.

The “lock and leave” homes are ideal for empty nesters and frequent travelers who don’t want the responsibility of landscape maintenance and want to know that their home is secure when they’re gone for long periods of time, Marcus-Colvin said.

“‘Lock and leave’ means that if you want to leave for your mountain cabin for two months, you can feel very confident that your home will be in the same condition as when you left,” she said.

A completion date for Meridian has not been announced.

However, the two- and three-bedroom condominiums began selling in June and about 40 units have sold, according to company representatives.

Meridian will consist of five buildings with one-story residences ranging from 2,335 to 3,905 square feet. Floor plans will offer two bedrooms with a den or three full bedrooms.

The 4.5-acre project will overlook the Newport Beach Country Club and offer views of the Pacific Ocean.

Meridian boasts amenities such as semi-private elevators, a club room, a junior Olympic saltwater pool, concierge services, a 2,200-square-foot gym and secured underground parking.

While Newport Beach may appear to be completely built-out, the city’s community development director, Kim Brandt, said it hasn’t yet reached its maximum development potential — especially in residential markets.

“You’d think the area is built-out, but it’s actually being redeveloped with new uses,” she said.

In addition to Meridian, the Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. is in the middle of construction on a 524-unit luxury apartment complex at San Joaquin Hills and Jamboree roads. The apartments will replace a low-rise office complex.

The Irvine Co. is expected to wrap up construction on the project, aimed at executives working nearby, in the next 12 to 18 months, Brandt said.