Santee, CA–Cornerstone Communities, the largest private homebuilder in San Diego County, is entering the nascent market of all-electric homes in its new upscale townhome community named Laurel Heights.
Cornerstone and its financial partner Presidio Residential Capital purchased a five-acre parcel of land in Santee to build 80 two-story townhomes southeast of Aubrey Glen Drive and Mission Gorge Road. Model construction will begin in the spring of 2022, and the first homes released for sale will start construction in the summer of 2022.
Laurel Heights will be an environmentally conscious community created to provide families with a more sustainable lifestyle that embraces solar panels, smart home features, and pre-wiring for electric car charging. All homes will feature highly efficient electrical appliances that save energy, improve indoor air quality and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Everything runs on electricity – including heat pumps, air conditioners, dryers, induction ovens, and stovetops – instead of natural gas.
“It’s good for the planet and our homeowners’ pocketbooks, and that is certain to appeal to our target demographic of millennials and young families,” said Michael Sabourin, president and COO of Cornerstone Communities. “Buyers not only receive a modern home with smart technology and lower utility bills, they’re also helping the environment.”
Cornerstone’s first foray into the all-electric home model comes at a time when California lawmakers and activists are pushing for energy-efficient appliances and phasing out gas hookups for homes in the Golden State, where roughly 80 percent of all homes still rely on natural gas. Last August, the California Energy Commission passed new energy codes that incentivize electric appliances and efficient heating and cooling systems that will go into effect in 2023.
“This is what the future holds for us in the home building industry. It’s only a matter of time before our state requires all electrical appliances and outlaws natural gas in new home construction,” said Cornerstone CEO Ure Kretowicz. “We asked ourselves, why wait to go electric because you’re forced to? We choose to get ahead of the curve to face tomorrow’s challenges today. We feel by doing so, we can gain a first-mover advantage over our competition.”
And Cornerstone is not stopping with Laurel Heights. It is planning multiple all-electric projects, including a planned 450-townhome development divided into four “villages” in the Otay Mesa/San Ysidro area that Kretowicz defines as “incredible workforce housing.”
Laurel Heights will offer three-floor plans with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Ranging from 1,601 to 1,818 square feet, the two largest plans will also offer second-floor lofts or home offices. The townhomes will showcase private, fenced rear yards and attached direct access two-car garages. Some of the homesites will have mountain views and oversized yards.
“We’re excited to build another quality community in this beautiful area of San Diego County,” said Sabourin. “Residents will enjoy a community pool, tot lot, grassy park area and nearby hiking access at the scenic Mission Trails Regional Park and the Santee Lakes. The greenbelts will be well used, I’m sure, by all who live here.”
Located in southwestern Santee less than two miles from the 52 Freeway, it’s also close to major retail shopping, services, and schools. Elementary and middle school students can attend Chet F. Harritt School in Santee School District and high school students can attend West Hills High School in Grossmont Union High School District.
Cornerstone Communities, in partnership with Presidio Residential Capital – a San Diego-based real estate management company – has developed 16 joint venture projects in San Diego, Riverside, and Kern counties.