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GRAND OPENING : At Long Last: New Homes in Bel-Air

June 25, 1989

Bel Air Crest will open Wednesday in the Santa Monica Mountains, the first new subdivision in Bel-Air in decades and a development that was more than a dozen years in planning and construction.

The $300-million project south of the Mulholland ridge dividing the Westside of Los Angeles from the San Fernando Valley opens with six model homes priced from $785,000 to $1.4 million, according to a spokeswoman for Goldrich & Kest Industries, the Culver City-based developers.

Designed by McLarand Vasquez & Partners, the Canyon Home models have 2,367 to 4,521 square feet. Prestige Homes, the home-building unit of Goldrich & Kest, will construct 137 Canyon Homes on lots averaging about 6,000 square feet in the gate-guarded community.

The three- to five-bedroom houses are offered in 14 exterior elevations and include such features as crown moldings, recessed lighting and kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances. The interior designer is Design 1 of Century City.

Prestige Homes is also building custom houses, ranging in price from about $3 million to $4 million and with about 6,500 to 8,000 square feet, on six of the 153 lots in the subdivision.

The remaining 147 lots range in size from about 14,000 square feet up to 1 acre and are priced from $875,000 to $2.5 million.

While Bel Air Crest enjoyed the support of community groups--including the powerful Bel-Air Assn.--the developers incurred the wrath of the neighboring Roscomare Valley Assn. in 1987 when it graded about 200 feet too much off a ridge at the top of Hoag Canyon. Last year, Goldrich & Kest rebuilt an average of 20 feet of the ridge and provided extensive landscaping to reduce the visibility of the project by Roscomare Valley residents.

More than 300 of the original 516 acres were dedicated to the city as open space. The developers hired the Peridian Group, an Irvine landscape architect, and spent more than $3.5 million to landscape Bel Air Crest and preserve the view corridors. Any house built on one of the 147 remaining custom lots must conform to a plan developed by Peridian for each lot. Goldrich & Kest also must approve each house plan.

The models are open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily at Bel Air Crest Road and Sepulveda Boulevard, reached from the Chalon Drive exit of the San Diego (405) Freeway.

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