Rancho Mission Viejo LLC Announces Selection of Homebuilders for the New Hilltop Neighborhoods at Esencia on the 14,000-Unit Rancho Mission Viejo Community

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Builders have been selected and construction is now underway on model homes for the six brand new Hilltop Neighborhoods slated to debut this Fall at the inter-generational village of Esencia on The Ranch.

New Hilltop Neighborhood at Esencia on The Ranch

The Hilltop Neighborhood will continue the new model of inter-gen living we are pioneering.

The neighborhood builders have been selected and construction is now underway on model homes for the six brand new Hilltop Neighborhoods slated to debut this Fall at the inter-generational village of Esencia on the 14,000-unit Rancho Mission Viejo community in South Orange County, CA, announced Paul Johnson, Senior Vice President - Community Development for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC.    

Esencia is the second village to open on the new 23,000-acre ranch community of Rancho Mission Viejo (aka “The Ranch”), the largest new community in California. Approximately 75% of The Ranch is designated as preserved open space known as The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo. The remaining 25% is identified for the phased development of multiple inter-generational villages over the coming years. Ultimately, Rancho Mission Viejo will offer homes for all ages as well as up to 6,000 primarily single-level “Gavilan” homes exclusive to people age 55 and older (40% of the total 14,000 homes planned for the different villages on The Ranch). In addition, Rancho Mission Viejo is planned to include sites for parks and schools, miles of multi-user trails, recreational clubhouses, community farms, civic uses, child care centers, places of worship and up to 5 million square feet of non-residential uses including shopping, dining and employment centers.

The first village to be developed on The Ranch was the now sold out village of Sendero. The second village on The Ranch is Esencia (Spanish translation: the essence). At build-out, the village of Esencia is planned to provide an integrated mix of 2,537 all age and Gavilan 55-plus homes for sale, all set atop some of the highest elevations on The Ranch.

The first collection of homes offered for sale at Esencia were part of The Canyon House Neighborhoods, which introduced a new model for inter-generational living by integrating Gavilan 55-plus neighborhoods into Esencia’s all age neighborhoods. Homes in The Canyon House Neighborhoods are currently priced from the high $400,000s to over $1 million.
The next collection of homes at Esencia, known as The Hilltop Neighborhoods, will continue this level of integration around an inter-generational recreational and social amenity called The Hilltop Club.    

According to Johnson, the homebuilders selected to construct and sell the six new Hilltop Neighborhoods at Esencia include Del Webb Homes and CalAtlantic Homes who will build new Gavilan neighborhoods exclusive to residents age 55-plus, while Meritage Homes, MBK Homes, Warmington Residential, and William Lyon Homes will build the brand new all age neighborhoods within The Hilltop Neighborhoods. Combined, the six homebuilders will offer 522 homes for sale within six different and brand new Hilltop Neighborhoods terraced along hillsides to afford panoramic ocean and territorial views of the vast Rancho Mission Viejo.

The new neighborhoods will also be proximate to The Hilltop Club, now under construction and envisioned as the recreational and social heart of Esencia. The expansive Hilltop Club has been designed as a resort-style clubhouse with indoor-outdoor fitness and group exercise spaces, swimming pool, wading pool, spa, seasonal and special event bar with lounge seating, BBQ pavilion, bocce ball courts, game arcade, firepits, and a large lawn for community events, celebrations and gatherings.

Through the unique programming and services offered to all Rancho Mission Viejo resident via “RanchLife,” fitness classes, health and wellness workshops, happy hours, club meetings and all sorts of events and activities at The Hilltop Club will be conducted to unite residents via their shared interests and abilities versus dividing them by age. And, views from The Hilltop Club, situated at the pinnacle of Esencia, will feature expansive coastal and backcountry vistas including the preserved lands of The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo.

“As we continue to evolve the concept of inter-generational living here on The Ranch, we welcome the neighborhood builders who are joining us as pioneers in offering new, exciting and enriching environments for people of all ages and life stages,” said Johnson. “Ultimately, RanchLife and the integrated lifestyle we are encouraging is all about giving people the choice to be as connected to each other as they desire.”

Johnson explained that complimenting places like The Hilltop Club are amenities designed for families as well as amenities exclusive to Gavilan 55-plus residents, including the recently opened Outlook swim and social retreat as well as the large Hacienda clubhouse in the first village of Sendero. Johnson also noted that additional Hilltop Neighborhoods will consist of phased releases of homes now for sale by CalAtlantic Homes, Shea Homes and TRIPointe Homes in Esencia’s Canyon House neighborhoods.    

The Canyon House Neighborhoods are oriented around the many amenities found at The Canyon House social and recreational gathering place including Canyon Coffee, the Esencia Visitors Center, the indoor-outdoor Retreat, the event lawn and courtyard, the meeting and art room at The Studio, and the adjacent Oak Canyon open space and trails which lead to the new Esencia Farm, the third working farm on The Ranch.

Johnson added that new recreational amenities have recently opened at Esencia and more are on the way. For example, now open is The South Plunge, an all age gathering place with a pool, children’s water play area, small event lawn, and an outdoor grilling and dining area. Also open and exclusive to the Gavilan 55+ crowd is The Outlook, complete with a covered great room, a resort-style lap pool with cabanas, a fire pit, and an outdoor dining area with barbeque grills. Plus, preparing for their grand openings over the coming months are numerous open air rooms and retreats located within Esencia and along its scenic edges, including The Campout with its tent platforms, BBQ grills, shade structure, tables and firepit, as well as the new Esencia Green, and South Paw Dog Park for four-legged friends. For Gavilan residents, Sunrise Park, Sunset Park, the BBQ Barn, and The Getaway will provide unique opportunities for picnics and other get-togethers with friends, family and neighbors.

Plan are also underway for The Pavilion, a multipurpose gymnasium with adaptable space for basketball, volleyball, and all sorts of cultural and social events. And, anticipated to open for instruction by Fall 2018 right next to The Pavilion is the new Esencia K-8 school (part of the acclaimed Capistrano Unified School District). Approximately 50 acres of commercial space has been allocated at Esencia for such uses as retail shops and services, restaurants, professional and medical offices, and more.

Esencia on The Ranch is located just 2.3 miles from downtown San Juan Capistrano and five miles from San Clemente and Doheny State Beach, with easy access provided to the employment and retail centers of Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita and other Orange County areas.    
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Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC is a privately held, family-owned and -operated company responsible for the ranching, farming, planning, development, and financial management of the remaining 23,000 acres of Rancho Mission Viejo, situated in unincorporated South Orange County, CA. Since 1882, members of the O’Neill/Avery/Moiso family have owned and managed The Ranch which once exceeded 200,000 acres and now includes the family-developed cities and communities of Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita as well as such important places as Caspers Wilderness Regional Park, the Starr Ranch Audubon Sanctuary, O’Neill Regional Park and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Development on The Ranch is a partnership between Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC (managing partner) and DMB Associates, an Arizona-based, diversified real estate company with commercial property/resort/recreational/primary home community holdings throughout Arizona, California, Hawaii and Utah.

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Diane Gaynor
Roni Hicks & Associates
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