Long Beach sticks solar-powered townhomes dev downtown

Rare townhomes project to open for resale Sept. 29

City Ventures is nearly complete with the second phase of a townhome development in the heart of downtown Long Beach. (Courtesy City Ventures)
City Ventures is nearly complete with the second phase of a townhome development in the heart of downtown Long Beach. (Courtesy City Ventures)

In an era increasingly defined by dense development in big cities, Long Beach decided to go in the other direction.

The city partnered with Irvine-based developer City Ventures to build 40 townhomes in the heart of its downtown–a project that is different in almost every way from all the development around it. Known as the Huxton, it is the city’s first solar neighborhood, where residents will enjoy never receiving a gas bill. The Long Beach Business Journal reported that by the end of the year, the second of three phases will be complete.

Since 2014, the number of multifamily properties in Long Beach have doubled, fueling the current construction boom, which is valued at more than $3.5 billion. The Huxton is the closest development to a single-family detached home to be built in downtown Long Beach for almost a decade.

Each home will have solar panels and electric vehicle charging, and each unit is equipped with all-electric appliances, LED lighting, windows with ultraviolet coating, water-efficient plumbing, and a “smart” thermostat.

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At 227 Elm Ave. – between 3rd Street and Broadway – the townhomes start in the high $600,000s (though they were originally priced in the $400,000 range) and range in size from 1,254-2,025 square feet. The first phase of the project included 13 homes, 12 of which have been sold, according to CEO Philip Kerr. Presales for the second wave of homes starts September 29. The third phase is anticipated to be completed during the first quarter of 2019.

The project came as a surprise after Long Beach heard its mayor announce massive multi-family projects last month, including a tower with 700 residential units that will become the tallest structure in the city, less than a mile from where the Huxton is located. The development will also be dwarfed by “The Broadway Block” – a $215-million complex with more than 400 units – around the corner.

City Ventures paid $1.65 million for the property. The Huxton is the firm’s first project in Long Beach, which seems particularly attractive now after California became the first state to require solar power on almost all new homes.

The company also acquired two other properties in North Long Beach at 4800 and 5100 Long Beach Blvd. for $3.75 million, where they plan to build 69 more townhomes. [LBbizJournal]–Gregory Cornfield