Coastal Real Estate

Neighborhoods: Cassis in Ocean Heights, Newport Coast

By NB Indy Staff | July 17, 2012 11:41 AM

Neighborhoods: Cassis in Ocean Heights, Newport Coast

Photo courtesy Michael Fawaz

Bordered by: Strada is the enclave above, Perazul is just below. All are in Ocean Heights.

History: Cassis was built in 2001-2002 by Brookfield Homes to meet an untapped market—affluent empty nesters. The inspiration for this unique community came from Cassis, France, a hill town located along the Cote d’Azur in Provence. The lead architect was Bob White from Scheurer Architects, Newport Beach who said, “Cassis homes are unique in both their intimate design and the styling of their European architecture.” Brookfield won four major awards for the innovative Cassis project. The team designed Cassis to look and feel like custom homes, to utilize the hillside view location and to maximize the enjoyment of an informal indoor/outdoor lifestyle. The innovative aspect of Cassis extended beyond its design. The Cassis design team, took a risk on a small segment of the market and succeeded. By listening carefully to market feedback, they created a neighborhood that is as unique today as when they built it. Cassis homeowner, Barbara Lyster, remarked, “Our Cassis home is heaven on earth. I love waking up in paradise! I feel so blessed and can’t imagine a better place to live. It’s peaceful, quiet, safe and romantic. Not a day goes by without mentioning how amazing our Cassis home is.” The Cassis design team included Brookfield Homes, Costa Mesa; Scheurer Architects, Costa Mesa; The Collaborative West (landscape architects), San Clemente; Design Line Interiors, San Diego; Ann Matteson (color) Consulting, Newport Beach; and the input of resale Realtors regarding buyer feedback and preferences.

Residences: The Cassis enclave is comprised of 58 homes. There are three models: the Capri, the Corsica and the Cannes, ranging from 3,513-4,479 square feet. The variety and quality of architectural details (stone, brick, beautiful custom quality entry doors), landscaping materials (mature olive trees, sage) and warm color schemes give the homes and neighborhood a richness and warmth in an upscale yet unpretentious way. One of the most emotional factors of the Cassis homes is the integration of the outdoor and indoor space. There is an entry courtyard, a large central courtyard with a fireplace which is protected from the elements and opens to most of the house through French doors, and a back courtyard/patio to enjoy the ocean, city lights and coastline view. Most Cassis homes are one story, with a casita over the garage. The entertainment areas are open and large, reminiscent of European haciendas or villas. There is a generous use of windows to maximize the ocean views throughout. Although Cassis homes have all of the modern conveniences you would expect, they have an authentic, Old World charm that many find irresistible. The stone and other building materials were selected by landscape architects, Collaborative West, to reflect a rural country lifestyle. They selected a nice mix, so consequently Cassis does have a very custom feel.

Views: Most Cassis homes have sweeping ocean, city and coastline views. Lot sizes vary between 12,000-14,000 square feet. The views are enhanced by the fact that the streets are single-loaded and the home height limit is 21 feet.

How the Community Has Evolved:
Cassis homes sold quickly after introduction. Original prices were from $1.5 to $2.2 million. This didn’t include landscaping or interior upgrades. At the height of the market, the highest sale of a Cassis home was $5 million. While many sold in the $4 million range, the majority sold in the $3 millions. The appeal and demand that Brookfield and the Cassis team envisioned continues to be strong today. Residents are friendly, private, sophisticated and well-traveled. This enclave shows pride of ownership and is exceptionally well-maintained. Cassis is a great buy right now considering the quality, privacy and views. With only one home on the market in Cassis, inventory is low. Inventory in all of Ocean Heights is low at this time and demand is growing.

Amenities: Cassis residents are eligible for a variety of Ocean Heights and Newport Coast Community Association benefits and activities. Among these are access to a saltwater pool with full time attendants to provide towels and assistance. Tennis courts with a pro and a children’s play park are also provided as part of the Newport Coast Community Association. Each Ocean Heights enclave has an active HOA board, social clubs and activities to suit the interests of its residents, such as dinners, socializing and swimming. Ocean Heights has two guard-gated entrances that are attended 24/7 – 365 days a year.

Current Market Activity:
There have been three closed sales in Cassis in 2010, with the average price per square foot of $730. One of the closed sales sold for $3.8 million, raising the average sales price to $2.9 million. There is currently one home in escrow and one active listing. Both are listed under $3 million. In 2009, there were three sales and the average price per square foot was $664. All three homes sold in the $2 millions. The average sales price was $2.565 million. By comparison, in 2008, there were three sales, all in the $3 millions with an average price per square foot of $888. The average sales price was $3.615 million. In 2007, there were three sales with an average sales price of $3.99 million and an average price per square foot of $973. One home sold for $4.85 million. In 2006, there were five sales, the average sales price was $4.315 million with an average price per square foot of $925. One home sold for $5 million. 2006 was the height of the market for Cassis, although in 2005 there were 12 homes that were sold with an average sales price of $3.9 million and an average price per square foot of $913. Homes sold for nearly 98% of the asking price in 2005.

Information provided by Carol Lee, The Carol Lee Group, Surterre Properties at (949)395-3994. Email her at [email protected].


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