Grand Opening Celebration at District Walk

May 14th, 2015

District Walk Model Grand Opening is happening this Saturday, May 16th!

Come out to tour the beautiful new model home and learn all about this exceptional new community in Pasadena!

Stop by between 11:00 am & 2:00 pm to enjoy food, fun and live music.

District Walk will offer up to 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and up to 1,766 square feet of living space and is the perfect place to call home.

For more information on District Walk please call 562-370-9506

Grand Opening Celebration at Coastal Walk

May 8th, 2015

Coastal Walk Model Grand Opening is happening this Saturday, May 9th!

Come out to tour the beautiful new model home and learn all about this exceptional new community in Huntington Beach!

Stop by between 11:00 am & 2:00 pm to enjoy food, fun and live music.

Coastal Walk offers up to 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and up to 1,970 square feet of living space and is the perfect place to call home.

For more information on Coastal Walk please call 562-370-9505.

Split Decision

May 1st, 2015

Furniture maker buys Rosemead portion of former Wham-O lot shared with San Gabriel home project.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 1.05.52 PM

Moving In: San Gabriel side of former Wham-O and Huy Fong factories where Olson Co. is developing a residential project. Photo by Ringo Chiu.

When the Olson Co. picked up a nine-acre industrial site of the former Wham-O Inc. toy factory in Rosemead 2014, the plan was to go after the booming San Gabriel Valley housing market with a residential subdivision.

But after Olson bought the property for $17. 5 million from Sriracha maker Huy Fong Foods, which was decamping for a larger space in Irwindale, the company took a harder look. Not only was the site bisected by the Rubio Wash, a channel that forms the city line between Rosemead and San Gabriel, but the large industrial building was built across the waterway, kind of like a bridge.

Jeff Allred, city manager for Rosemead, said Olson had briefly entertained the idea of building housing on both sides, adding that the city of Rosemead wasn’t necessarily opposed to a residential development.

“Rosemead does not have large industrial areas,” Allred said. “The areas where there are industrial uses have adjacent residential communities, so there are no industrial parks. So a residential use is not out of the realm of possibility, as long as the residents support it.”

In the end, said Olson Chief Executive Scott Laurie, rather than seek entitlements in two municipalities and dealing with the environmental challenges of construction around the wash, the company subdivided the property, chopped the building in half and listed the Rosemead portion on the east side, where Huy Fong did most of its production, as an industrial property. The west side of the building was razed.

“From a planning standpoint, it was more effective for us to build (residential units) on the west side of the channel in the city of San Gabriel rather than trying to be in two cities at once,” Laurie said.

After several months on the market, Olson late last month struck a deal with Darlee Outdoor Living Inc., an Irwindale patio furniture manufacturer, to buy the vacant 77,000-square-foot industrial space at 5045 Earle Ave. for $5.5 million.

Darlee representatives declined to comment on the purchase, but industry sources said the company plans to use 30,000 square feet as a warehouse and lease out the rest.

Housing stock
The industrial property sits on the 2.5-acre portion of the site that sat in Rosemead. In 2014, Olson demolished the portion of the building that fell in the 6.5-acre San Gabriel site and is in the midst of construction of Mission Walk, a 92-unit townhome and single-family residential project that will begin pre-sales in May, though construction won’t be completed until early 2017.

The development includes 88 townhomes and four 1,719-square-foot single-family units. The three-story townhomes, which will range from roughly 1,300 to 2,200 square feet and have two to four bedrooms, will be listed next month for $400,000 to more than $600,000, Laurie said.

The homes would be priced in line with values in the region. According to February home sales data collected by Redfin, the median home in the San Gabriel ZIP code that houses Mission Walk sold for $391 a square foot.

Olson also is creating a pedestrian and bicycle trail that is to run about two-tenths of a mile south to Grand Avenue, a path that would cut through city-owned land adjacent to the development.

The trail, along with Olson-funded street paving, new sidewalks and other upgrades to the surrounding area, made the project attractive to the city, said Mark S. Gallatin, San Gabriel’s planning manager. The residential project signals positive change for the area, he noted.
“The Olson project is the largest residential project in San Gabriel in a generation, and it’s an indication that there is a demand for new housing in the neighborhood,” he said.

Laurie said Olson, based in Seal Beach, remains bullish on the San Gabriel Valley, with projects in Temple City, Pasadena, El Monte, Monterey Park and Walnut.
“There is limited competition and strong demand for new housing as the entitlements are challenging and opportunities are scarce,” he said.

Nod to history
Olson plans to hang a plaque somewhere in the Mission Walk project commemorating its industrial history, said John Reischl, director of development at the company.

Wham-O began manufacturing Hula Hoops and Frisbees on the site in the 1950s, and moved out in the early ’80s. Huy Fong set up shop there in 1986, and stayed until its move last year to Irwindale, where the company ran into some well-documented trouble.

Irwindale residents began complaining about a strong smell coming from the factory not long after the company moved in, saying fumes burned their eyes and throats. The city filed a lawsuit and public nuisance declaration against Huy Fong.

In response, Huy Fong founder David Tran began publicly discussing moving the factory out of Irwindale.

But the city and the condiment maker made peace in May 2014 when the Irwindale City Council dismissed the lawsuit and Tran made some changes to the plant’s filtration system.

By Hannah Miet  – Los Angeles Business Journal

Grand Opening Celebration at Mission Walk!

April 28th, 2015

Mission Walk Model Grand Opening is happening this Saturday, May 2nd!

Come out to tour the beautiful new model homes and learn all about this exceptional new community in San Gabriel!

Stop by between 11:00 am & 2:00 pm to enjoy food, fun and music.

Mission Walk offers  up to 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and up to 2,245 square feet of living space and is the perfect place to call home. For more information on Mission Walk please call 562-370-9507.

Mission Walk New Home Center Opening This Saturday!

April 25th, 2015


The wait is over! Come visit Mission Walk to learn more about this exciting new community in San Gabriel!

Be sure to stop by and talk to one of our helpful home advisors! Sales office is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Save The Date! Model Grand Opening Celebration Saturday May 2nd from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

For more information please call (562) 370-9507.

Report Calls For Orange County to Build More Housing

April 14th, 2015

Long a land of plenty for home buyers and builders alike, Orange County is running out of room. If it hopes to keep growing, the vast suburbia needs to change its ways.

That’s the thrust of a new report out Tuesday from the influential Orange County Business Council, which estimated that the county of 3.1 million already faces a shortfall of 62,000 homes and apartments to meet the needs of its workforce.

If job and housing projections hold true, that shortfall will deepen to 100,000 by 2040, the report says, making it harder for young families to find a place to live and for businesses to find high-quality employees.

“We already lose more than we should,” said Wallace Walrod, the Business Council’s chief economic advisor and author of the report. “This has long-term consequences for our economic competitiveness.”

The study, the council’s “Housing Scorecard,” is the latest in a string of calls lately to create more housing in Southern California, which is among the nation’s least-affordable housing markets.

Late last year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a goal of adding 100,000 homes in the city by 2021. Last month, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office issued a report saying 100,000 or more homes a year — mostly in coastal regions — are needed to keep already sky-high housing costs from dragging down California’s economy.

In Orange County, where home buyers have flocked for decades seeking a slice of the suburban life, the call to build more comes with a twist. There’s no longer enough open land to keep building vast tracts of single-family homes, the report says. The future lives in a town house.

“The era of big master-planned communities is not quite over, but it’s ending,” Walrod said. “The kind of development that’s going on in Orange County is fundamentally changing. It’s going to be more infill, mixed-use, high-density development.”

But in many parts of Southern California, high-density housing remains a tough sell. Orange County is no exception. The Business Council’s report cites environmental regulations and lawsuits as well as neighborhood opposition as two of the chief hurdles blocking more construction.

Winning local approvals for an “infill” project — typically denser redevelopment in an existing neighborhood — can take 18 months to two years, said Scott Laurie, chief executive of Olson Homes, a Seal Beach-based builder that specializes in those sort of projects. Picking the right site, winning over the neighbors and designing a project that makes sense economically all take time too.

“This is not the type of building that you see in outlying areas,” Laurie said. “This is a different business.”

But, he said, there is high demand. Olson Homes just sold out a development in Fullerton and is about to launch sales on 45 town houses in Huntington Beach, with strong early interest. Many buyers are willing to make trade-offs for a manageable commute and a good neighborhood.

“They’ll say, ‘I may not have a big house on a big lot,’” he said. “But I’m 15 minutes from work, I can walk to things and I have great schools.”

That’s the sort of thinking that led Roderick and Toni Ashford to The Groves, a new KB Home development in Fullerton. The couple recently relocated from Washington state for work, and were looking for someplace close to his job and their children’s school in Long Beach.

They looked at single-family homes in Orange County and around Long Beach, but soon tossed that idea aside. Everything was too expensive. Then they found a 2,100-square-foot town house in Fullerton for $540,000. They took it.

“It’s very expensive everywhere,” Toni Ashford said. “This is a good price for us.”

For some, the lure of a big house at a relatively low cost is still worth commuting from Riverside County, where the median home price in February was roughly half of Orange County’s, according to CoreLogic Dataquick. Maria Lopez, a real estate agent with Redfin in Chino and Corona, has seen a noticeable uptick lately of priced-out buyers moving east.

“For what you pay in Anaheim Hills or Yorba Linda, you can cross the 71 [Freeway] into Corona and get the same size property for a couple of hundred thousand dollars less,” she said. “People will make that trade for an extra 15 minutes’ drive.”

In the long run, though, that commute poses a big challenge for Orange County, said Esmael Adibi, an economist at Chapman University. If companies can’t find the workers they need, they’ll eventually move to where the people are, be that the Inland Empire or all the way to Texas. With an aging population, places like Orange County need to make sure they’ve got room to house the next generation.

“Everything else being equal, housing costs are a major, major factor to slowing down growth,” Adibi said.

And that’s what has the Business Council worried.

Orange County has already seen its age 25-to-34 population shrink 7% over the last 15 years, Walrod said. Nearly 40% of Orange County workers commute more than an hour a day. And at current trends, in 10 years half of the county’s homeowners will be over age 65.

If all that keeps up, Walrod said, Orange County won’t have the workers it needs to keep growing, unless it builds enough places for them all to live.

“If you look out five, 10, 20 years, the picture really becomes clear,” he said. Housing “can either be a huge positive for the area, or it can be our Achilles’ heel.”

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times

The Olson Company Achieves #1 Rank In Customer Service Experience

April 10th, 2015


Eliant, the largest consumer research company in the country, has ranked The Olson Company #1 among major U.S. builders in homeowner satisfaction. The results, gleaned from more than 60,000 new homeowner satisfaction surveys, showed that The Olson Company received a score of 98.4 percent for its customer service experience at 5 months and 10 months after move-in. According to the firm, the average customer satisfaction ratings of the 125-plus homebuilders are typically in the 86 to 88 percent range. “We are honored and proud of our team’s collective efforts,” said Scott Laurie, CEO of The Olson Company. “Achieving the number #1 ranking from Eliant is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to provide industry leading homeowner satisfaction to our homebuyers.” Eliant CEO Bob Mirman added, “The Olson Company has won continuous awards from the Eliant Homebuyers’ Choice Awards competition for the past 4 years. This consistent dedication to customer satisfaction makes The Olson Company a leader within the national homebuilder community.” Founded in 1988 by Steve Olson, the Seal
Beach-based company has completed scores of communities and has several others under construction, nearing completion or planned. Pictured at the company’s Plaza Walk project in Cerritos are, from left, Bill Holford, president Olson Communities; Matt Savio, vice president of homeowner satisfaction; and Scott Laurie, CEO of The Olson Company. Plaza Walk, located at 18810 Pioneer Blvd., includes 25 townhomes ranging in size from 1,266 square feet to 1,821 square feet. The units are priced in the mid-$400,000s and offer up to four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The sales office is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 562/370-9501. 

George Economides – Long Beach Business Journal

Mission Walk’s New Home Preview Event

April 6th, 2015

Mission Walk

Please join us at the Mission Walk
New Home Preview Event!

Come meet our team and get all of the information you have been waiting for on Mission Walk in San Gabriel. View construction and landscape plans, exterior renderings, and interior finish samples. Meet our Home Advisors, Construction Manager, Designers and our preferred lender to get all of your questions answered. We will also be releasing our estimated price ranges and begin taking applications for our VIP priority list the day of the event.

Refreshments will be served.

We will be raffling an ipad mini, Din Tai Fung and Neiman Marcus gift cards.

Date: Saturday April 11, 2015
Time: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Place: Hilton San Gabriel
225 W. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
San Diego Room

For more information on this event please call (562) 370-9507.

Join Coastal Walk’s VIP Priority List Today!

April 2nd, 2015

Click here to get pre-qualified today and join our VIP priority list. As an official VIP at Coastal Walk, you will be given exclusive access to private events and priority home selection. A private model showing and sales release will be held for the VIP Priority list. Our homes will offer up to 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and approximately 1,244 to 1,970 square feet. Information center is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sundays•.

• Information center will be closed April 5th due to the Easter Holiday.

Coastal Walk Information Center Opening This Weekend!

March 27th, 2015

The wait is over! Come visit Coastal Walk starting March 28th to learn more about this beach close community in Huntington Beach!

Be sure to stop by and talk to one of our helpful home advisors! Information center is open Saturday and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For more information please call (562) 370-9505.

Career Night

In The News

May 14th, 2015

Grand Opening Celebration at District Walk

District Walk Model Grand Opening is happening this Saturday, May 16th!
Come out to tour the beautiful new model home and learn all about this exceptional new community in Pasadena!
Stop by between 11:00 am & 2:00… More >

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