How Coastal Markets Stack Up For Development


Jul 05, 2018

San Diego density is happening inland, while Orange County is seeing density in the coastal markets, and it is attracting local developers.

San Diego-based developer Zephyr is heading north to Dana Point for its latest project, South Cove, a coastal private-home community. The developer is nearing completion on phase III construction on the project, which features 17 two- and three-bedroom floor plans ranging from 1,404 to 2,126 square feet. Unlike the San Diego market, Orange County offers coastal density, according to the developer, making it ideal for this residential community. “San Diego is more of what I would call a traditional market in the suburban areas. Where South Cove in Dana Point is unique in that it is almost coastal-urban infill,” Chris Beucler, COO at Zephyr, tells “When we think of urban areas in San Diego, we think of Downtown, and certain pockets in North County like the areas around Cal State San Marcos. South Cove is one of the rare examples of a coastal-urban feel. South Cove will remind you of something you would find in a downtown environment but it’s right on the California coast.”

The Dana Point community was a natural location for the development, especially for a San Diego developer that understands the coastal and beach markets. “Being based in San Diego, we’re excited to have a project in an Orange County city that is so closely aligned with so many of the outdoor, nature-oriented, coastal and community driven traits we love about San Diego,” says Beucler. “The City of Dana Point has been equally excited about this project, on such a unique parcel. There are very few parcels available up and down the coast that have this sort of walkability.” For South Cove, Zephyr wanted to combine a barefoot living experience with a walkable neighborhood environment. “South Cove is the kind of community where you can step out of your home, barefoot, and get to the beach without ever having to go across Coast Highway via the typical paved areas. This is true walkability,” explains Beucler. “If you look at Dana Point, there is a bridge that goes over the highway and right to Doheny beach. There is also a channel that runs underneath the highway. Nearby, we have shopping, restaurants, a market; everything you would want to have you can literally walk to. It is all location driven.”

Phases I and II are already 82% sold, and phase III is seeing strong demand as well.
“The demand has been incredible,” says Beucler. “When we first opened South Cove in late December 2017—certainly not the time you would typically open—we were averaging over 150 traffic units per week. That is a high volume of interest. As we’ve been open for the last five to six months, we’ve seen it taper into consistent flow of interested buyers. We’re now averaging 60 traffic units per week, high by most standards.” In addition, Zephyr included 17 affordable units in the project. “With this wide range of products, our price range varies dramatically from the $600,000 to the highest end homes where we are averaging over $1.3 million,” adds Beucler. “When you combine that with live-work units, the project offers something for a broad spectrum of buyers and that’s an exciting prospect for us.”


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