A Platinum LEED-er in the Golden State

As the city of Gardena, Calif., begins to position itself for a transformation, MBK Homes’ 1600 at Artesia Square is pioneering the way and setting the bar high.
By Danilae Smith

Breathing new life into the city of Gardena, Calif., MBK Homes is currenty constructing a new community, 1600 at Artesia Square. One of the first new communities in its surroundings, 1600 at Artesia Square is multiuse, urban infill, LEED-Platinum certified and is setting the standard for those communities that will soon be following in its lead.

An area that has yet to see much in terms of new development, the city of Gardena, Calif., is currently undergoing a transformation with its Artesia Corridor Project in hopes to spur new businesses and bring about a thriving new, urban community. The Artesia Corridor Project covers 23 acres on the south side of Artesia Boulevard and proposes a mixed-used specific plan providing 350,000-square-feet of retail and 300 residential units. “The revitalization of the Artesia Corridor is important to the city of Gardena’s economic viability. We believe that the success of the project will lead to additional development of the specific plan,” explained Mitch Lansdell, city manager, city of Gardena, Calif.

Starting the Artesia Corridor Project off with a bang and introducing a new type of living space to the area is the goal at MBK Homes’ 1600 at Artesia Square. “MBK Homes’ investment in technology and making the residential units LEED-Platinum has brought a lot of positive attention to the corridor,” said the city manager.

It’s no surprise that 1600 at Artesia Square is sparking the interest of buyers, builders, developers and contractors alike, as it has much to offer residents and is setting the tone for future development in this area. The community entails 63, three-story townhomes and 34 livework units — something new to Gardena. “1600 at Artesia Square is the only urban live-work community currently for sale in the Los Angeles South Bay area. Given the preponderance of small business owners and the general South Bay demographic, demand for this housing type is strong,” mentioned Rick Fletcher, vice president of sales and marketing at MBK Homes.

Catering primarily to the South Bay buyer who enjoy a residence in close proximity to restaurants, shops, entertainment and convenience to local freeways, this community is not only a perfect fit for young professionals and business owners, but it’s also wonderful for those who welcome the benefits of cleaner living. 1600 at Artesia Square falls in line with the company’s commitment to responsible building and living for its residents and the environment. “Using our planet’s precious resources wisely are important to our organization,” said Fletcher.

Built to be LEED-Platinum certified, 1600 at Artesia Square is perhaps the most recent highlight of the company’s dedication to efficient living.

In addition to being LEED-Platinum and Energy Star-certified, each home includes a bevy of features such as tankless water heaters, carbon monoxide sensors on each floor, etc., as well as its own photovoltaic system. “As part of our commitment to minimizing the impact of our carbon footprint, we felt that this community being LEED-certified, offering solar standard would be a benefit to our future homeowners and the environment,” said Fletcher.

While the community has much to offer in terms of living space and location, with its urban infill location, finding a way to help 1600 at Artesia Square stand out as a residential community posed a bit of a challenge at first.

However, by infusing trees and parks throughout the community, MBK Homes was able to bring about a sense of home. “We overcame this challenge by choosing the right species of plants and trees throughout the community and providing unique parks and amenities, such as a dog park and tai chi garden. We even included citrus trees, bamboo lined walkways and lounging entertaining areas within the gated community,” explained Mike Schmidt, vice president of operations, MBK Homes. The homes themselves range in square footage from 1,706 to 2,309 square feet and offer two-car garages and two- or three-bedrooms.

Bringing a new way of living to residents, 1600 at Artesia Square is the trailblazer in terms of living and invigorating the city of Gardena.

Dani Smith is an editor of Builder and Developer. She may be contacted at dsmith@penpubinc.com.

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