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Southland Builders and Designers Win Half of the Gold Nugget Awards


SAN FRANCISCO — Southland home builders and architects were the big winners in the design competition at this year's Pacific Coast Builders Conference, the annual convention that brings together developers and related professionals from California and 13 other Western states.

Builders and designers based in Southern California picked up more than half the top prizes in the contest, including all three of the prestigious "home of the year" awards and both of the top honors for building affordable housing.

Two Rodeo Drive, a new retail complex in Beverly Hills, was named commercial project of the year. And Ruby's Diner, a new restaurant in Laguna Beach, was given a special judges' award for its innovative design.

The Gold Nuggets are to Western builders what Oscars are to actors. They were handed out at the opening of the 33rd annual gathering, which concluded at the Moscone Convention Center here Saturday.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday July 7, 1991 Home Edition Real Estate Part K Page 5 Column 1 Real Estate Desk 2 inches; 65 words Type of Material: Correction
Another winner--Because of incomplete information provided to The Times, one grand prize winner from the design competition at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference was omitted from the list published in the June 30 Real Estate section. Sharing the award for "Best Industrial Project" was Macro-Plastics Inc., Fairfield, Calif. Builder was Carl Recknagel General Contractor; developer was Macro-Plastics Inc., and architect was Boe & Company Architects Inc.

If tradition holds true, the design elements of many winning entries will soon crop up in housing tracts across the United States.

That's because many architects and developers in other parts of the country look to Western builders and designers for inspiration when they're planning projects of their own.

"The winners will help to set the trends that will whet the appetites of architects, builders and home buyers across the nation," said Manny Schatz, a California builder and chairman of the awards committee.

The award for the best detached home on a conventional-sized lot--a parcel that's at least 4,500 square feet--went to Hillcrest Meadows, a 44-unit development in Rolling Hills Estates. The winning model has three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and 2,452 square feet of living space.

The master bedroom suite takes up the entire top floor of the two-story home, which sells for about $740,000.

Hillcrest Meadows is being built by Cal-Coast Development and Peninsula High Associates of Los Angeles. The architect is Santa Monica-based Randy Washington Co.

The award for the best detached home on a small lot went to Promenade at Foothill Ranch, a 118-unit complex being built by J. M. Peters Co. in south Orange County. The winning model has two bedrooms, two baths and an interior balcony that overlooks the living and dining areas. Prices range from $215,000 to $260,000.

Putting the 1,465-square-foot home on a small lot--about 3,600 square feet--posed some special problems for Dorius Architects, the firm that designed the homes. So the architects used a "zero-lot line" plan to make the parcels seem larger.

In a Z-lot development, one side of the home is typically placed directly on the property line. This eliminates the narrow side yards created when a home is placed in the middle of a lot and transfers that space to the yard surrounding the rest of the house.

"This gives you a lot more usable yard space and makes the lot look a lot bigger," said architect Kermit Dorius.

San Diego-based Davidson Communities won the prize for the attached home of the year for one of its floor plans at Casabella, a 108-unit development in the master-planned community of Renaissance-La Jolla. The winning townhome has four bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths in about 2,719 square feet.

The home has several amenities not usually found in a townhouse, including a 20-foot-high ceiling in the living room, a spiral wood staircase and three fireplaces. The architect is Lorimer-Case of San Diego. Prices start at $488,000.

Two developers who have mastered the art of building "affordable" homes in the pricey Southland market also fared well in this year's Gold Nugget competition.

Upland-based INCO Homes picked up top honors in the best affordable housing development category for American Traditions, a 305-unit community in the San Bernardino County town of Adelanto.

The four floor plans in the project have two to four bedrooms, two baths and 1,047 to 1,675 square feet.

Berkus Group Architects of Santa Barbara designed American Traditions, which judges praised for its "imaginative yet practical" floor plans. Sales at the complex continue, with prices ranging from $79,990 to $99,990.

Tijeras Creek Villas, a 343-unit condominium complex in Orange County's master-planned community of Rancho Santa Margarita, was named the best affordable attached development.

The four plans offered at Tijeras Creek have one or two bedrooms and range from 685 to 1,170 square feet. Many have golf-course views.

The complex was designed by Architects Orange and built by San Juan Group, both of which are headquartered in Orange County. Prices for most units range from $102,990 to $145,000.

Two Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Hills shopping center that was named commercial project of the year, is on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard. It consists of a half-dozen stores fronting Rodeo plus a curved, shop-lined cobblestone street that slopes up and away from the drive.

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