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Rancho Niguel Celebrates Its Grand Opening

October 19, 1986|JUDITH SIMS

Rancho Niguel, the 600-acre community in Laguna Niguel developed by the Buie Corp. and Home Capital Development, officially opens today. Five-hundred single-family detached homes will be available in Phase 1, and about one-third of them are already sold.

"We wanted to develop more housing types (than were available in other planned communities), and I think, with the commercial and recreational aspects at Rancho Niguel, we have more balanced elements," said Robert Buie, president of Buie Corp.

"Rancho Niguel offers an incredible sense of community," added the firm's vice president, Jeffry Stoddard.

One of the largest master-planned communities currently under development in south Orange County, Rancho Niguel will ultimately contain 2,747 units, representing a variety of housing--condominiums, small-lot patio homes, town houses and conventional detached homes, as well as senior-citizen and luxury rentals, with prices ranging from $70,000 to about $300,000.

But perhaps the most unusual aspects of Rancho Niguel are the recreational facilities surrounding the homes. Within the 110 acres of parks and open spaces are jogging and bicycle trails; soccer, baseball and football fields; a recreation club with junior Olympic swimming pool, tennis, racquetball, basketball and volleyball courts, plus aerobics and weight rooms; on- and off-road bike and equestrian trails and an 18-station par exercise course. In addition, developers are planting thousands of trees and shrubs to maintain the area's wildlife preserve; the landscaping reflects and enhances the original riparian habitat of natural creeks and streams on the site.

"If somebody likes what we have done in terms of making a community, with all its trails and the proximity of parks and recreational facilities, we want to be able to provide them with a housing opportunity, whether a rental or a first-time buyer or a luxury buyer," Stoddard said.

Stoddard added that, given the variety of housing, families could remain within the community for many years, perhaps moving up from a rental or attached family house to a luxury home.

The day-to-day needs of Rancho Niguel families have not been neglected; a 30-acre family-oriented commercial center will provide retail, professional and office space.

In addition, children of Rancho Niguel residents will be able to attend the Rancho Niguel Elementary School, to be built on land donated by the developers, and families will use a currently-under-construction underpass to avoid traffic on nearby Crown Valley Parkway.

Besides the Buie Corp. and Home Capital Development Group, several other developers have purchased land for new-home construction in Rancho Niguel. A-M Company is marketing Sonterra, and Woodcrest Development is building Westhill.

Buie Corp.'s four principals--Buie and Stoddard plus James Saivar, vice president of sales and marketing, and Robert Wyatt, vice president of finance--previously worked together at Avco Community Developers, the company that planned and developed 7,000-acre Laguna Niguel, which includes Rancho Niguel.

The community's co-developer, Home Capital Development Group, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Home Federal Savings and Loan.

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