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Taking off: Rare new homes rising from former Air Force Base
It's not common to find suburban-style master-planned communities in Marin County. Part of what makes the area one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country is that it has so much protected outdoor space and very few modern tract homes.
But sometimes you just want some crisp, clean new construction.
For those who do, developer Barker Development Group recently began marketing The Landing at Hamilton, a new project of 27 single-family homes planned for the last developable parcel on the former Hamilton Air Force Base.
Hamilton, which was a functioning Air Force Base until the mid-1970s, consists of a handful of hangars that have been converted to office space and half a dozen residential developments. Most of the redevelopment in the area began in the late 1990s.
Roughly 800 homes have been built at Hamilton over the last decade, and this last leg of the development will consist of four different models, three of which have been built and are on display at 3 Avocet Court in Novato.
Both Kyle Frazier, the Pacific Union International agent who is handling sales in the development, and Gary Pike of Pike & Co. , a public-relations firm hired by Barker to market the project, agreed that a selling point is that this type of home is a rarity in the area and praised the developer's flexibility when it comes to the finishes of the properties.
"It's tough in this day and age that you can find a developer who will give you this much of a say into what goes into the home for under $1 million," Pike said. Homes in The Landing at Hamilton are priced from $840,000 to $925,000. "There's a lot of flexibility with these models."
The four different floor plans range from three to five bedrooms and 2.5 to three baths and span from 2,432 to 3,073 square feet. Each house comes with 10-foot ceilings, and kitchens feature stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and designer cabinetry. There will also be dual-glazed windows and laundry rooms with sinks in each home.
Nature trails, playgrounds, soccer and baseball fields and a renovated swimming pool already stand in the Hamilton area and will be within walking distance of the new homes.
The homes will be a 40-minute drive to San Francisco, which is part of what has helped pull professionals with young families to the Hamilton area.
"It's an attractive price point considering the size of the homes, and these homes have been designed with younger families in mind," Frazier said.
Michael Barker, managing director of Barker Pacific Group, said they wanted to build a neighborhood that fit into the area's current surroundings, while potentially allowing buyers from some of the other residential projects to move up.
"We felt like it was appropriate to be consistent with the neighborhood that's already there," Barker said. Barker Pacific Group developed much of the area's commercial office space and some of its previous residential areas as well.
"And we also provide a trade-up opportunity for people who may be in less expensive homes in the area," Barker said. "But we didn't want to make it too luxurious so that we would price it out of the range of a normal trade-up."
Barker Pacific Group hired architecture firm KTGY Group to execute the design of the homes. KTGY principal Jill Williams said that the goal of the design was to pay homage to the Bay Area housing styles, yet also fit into the perimeters set forth when Hamilton was first being built out a decade ago.
So the homes' exteriors meld Traditional, Craftsman and Mission-era styles.
"The fourth plan, which is probably our 'sexy' plan, is the deepest home, and it creates a really great home for entertaining with a big emphasis on the informal spaces," she said. Those are the most expensive in the development.
Only a few models of the third plan will be available and none have been built yet, she said. Those are built more toward empty nesters looking to move down in home size. They have a main-floor master suite and upstairs bedrooms suitable for guests.
"The second plan has a large family room, and people really love the dining space off to the side of the kitchen, which is the heart of the home," she said. "The smallest of the models is the first plan, which really focuses on the family spaces and comes with a front flex space."
Homeowners association dues for The Landing at Hamilton will be about $350 per year.
For more information on the development, go to www.TheLandingNovato.com.
This article appeared on page H - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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