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July 12, 1991|John O'Dell, Times staff writer

High Concept, Low Price: At the other end of the condo scene:

RecreActions Group of Companies, a Newport Beach builder known for its high-concept, high-density, user-friendly developments, opens its newest project July 20 in Rancho Santa Margarita.

RGC's Montana del Lago is situated on the last lake-front parcel in the planned community, yet meets the Santa Margarita Co.'s demand for lower-cost housing. Prices for the 192 units will run from $119,900 to $165,900, and the units will range in size from 780 to 1,400 square feet.

The two- and three-story buildings are designed in an early California villa theme and contain five different floor plans, ranging from one-level flats to three-level town homes, all built over subterranean garages.

RGC, which started as a resort community builder on the East Coast, has won numerous design awards for its Southland town home developments, including the Italian villa concept of Corte Bella in Irvine.

Harold Lynch, president the company, says it is easy to build $500,000 single-family homes but a lot more challenging to do what RGC does--pack a lot of lower-priced units into a design that makes buyers forget the density.

"This building industry slowdown we are in really makes you put your thinking cap on," Lynch said. "There are a lot of buyers out there if you can give them affordable prices and the right design. High density doesn't have to look like automatic slums, you know."

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