Meeting after countless meeting during the recent National Assn. of Home Builders convention in Atlanta explored the potential of the affluent move-up housing market.
Brian D. Adler doesn't need such advice on how to reach the most rarefied move-up market of all--multimillion-dollar estate properties on the Westside of Los Angeles.
The first 16 one-acre lots in his 80-lot Beverly Park development went quickly in 1985 at $1 million to $1.5 million--prices that were viewed as bargains by wealthy buyers who have reportedly spent in excess of $3 million for tear-down houses on desirable lots in Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills and the Beverly Hills Post Office (BHPO) area of Los Angeles.
Now come the 64 lots in North Beverly Park, already 50% reserved, with 2 level acres and starting prices in the $2.5-million range. The smallest house permitted in the development is 6,000 square feet, but Adler said that most houses will encompass about 11,000 to 15,000 square feet and be valued in the $7-million to $9-million range.
"You can't legitimately say you have an estate lot unless you have 1 1/2 level acres," he said on a tour of the development near San Ysidro and Summitridge drives, off Benedict Canyon, a few minutes drive north of the Beverly Hills Hotel, .
Adler, 49, readily conceded that estate-sized parcels in the East are much larger, but pointed out that real estate prices on the Westside are the nation's record breakers.
"We offer what the others don't--elegant gate houses staffed 24 hours a day in a country setting with city views and a private 4-acre park," Adler said. He is a partner with Marshall S. Ezralow and Gary Freedman in the Adler Development Group, developers of Beverly Park.
Adler said lot purchasers have the flexibility of choosing their own architect and contractor to build their houses, with all plans subject to approval by the architectural review board that includes Adler himself.
Founded Realty Firm
In addition to the security staff, one of the gate houses is home to Ambrose Associates, an architectural firm that designs houses for clients who buy in the development. The firm designed many of the houses in the first phase and is available for future lot buyers.
Before becoming a developer, for more than 25 years, Adler was co-owner of Harleigh Sandler Realtors and co-founder of Rodeo Realty, which he sold to Merrill Lynch Realty in 1982.
"Because of my 20-year history with the affluent market, it was a priority for me to choose the current top level realty firm, the Jon Douglas Co., to represent my properties," Adler said. "Through Jon Douglas, Beverly Park is advertised in the Los Angeles Times. As the development progresses to the point where finished house/lot packages are available, we'll tie in with Sotheby's International, which has an affiliation with the Douglas operation."
Picky, picky, picky is a good way to describe Adler, judging from his actions and comments to a reporter on a tour of Beverly Park. He used his Range Rover four-wheel-drive to show the visitor the views from the lots in both the original development and the first phase of North Beverly Park. He talked to painters finishing the woodwork in a house he is building to sell in the original development, running his hand over a door casing to make sure it was absolutely smooth.
"If things aren't right with the finished product, we'll find out very quickly," he said. "The discriminating buyer expects the finest, and our goal is to see that it is achieved."
If things aren't right or need attention, buyers in Beverly Park know where to find Adler: He lives in a more than 12,000-square-foot house in the original South Beverly Park development. He has an office in the gatehouse as well as in his home.
What is now Beverly Park was envisioned in the mid-1960s as a country club development, with several hundred more houses than the 80 in the current development. The original developers of the 325-acre project abandoned the country club concept after moving 8 million cubic yards of earth. Adler and his partners acquired the land in 1978 and changed the focus to the present gate-guarded concept.