Brandywine Homes To Build New Community In Garden Grove

July 15th, 2010

The Irvine-based homebuilder is on pace to double its production over the next eight to nine months

IRVINE, Calif. – June 15, 2010 – Brandywine Homes, one of Southern California’s most successful and market-savvy builders, has acquired a prime piece of land in Garden Grove, near The Block at Orange and an array other amenities, where it plans to build 20 single-family homes.

Brandywine, based in Irvine, Calif., purchased the land from six separate sellers, including the City of Garden Grove, for an undisclosed sum. The 2.5-acre lot is located near the intersection of Trask Avenue and Fairview Street. The company plans to begin construction on the community, named Pomelo, this summer, with the first homes available in the second quarter of 2011.

The Mediterranean-style homes will offer three and four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and range in size from approximately 1,600 square feet to 2,150 square feet.

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Climbing Towards Recovery

July 10th, 2010


Brett Whitehead is president of Brandywine Homes, an Irvine-based homebuilder that specializes developing small, infill projects in places like Garden Grove and Stanton. The 16-year-old family-owned company has developed almost 600 homes in 21 small and mid-sized communities in the midst of some of Southern California’s established neighborhoods.

Brandywine maintains it’s weathered the recession and now is ready to expand. We asked Brett to tell us how …

Us: How has Brandywine weathered the downturn? Did your company avoid having to file for bankruptcy, and if so, how?

Brett: We’ve weathered the recession pretty well. We never filed for bankruptcy, and frankly never were in the position of having to consider it.

Like many in the homebuilding business, we first felt the market begin to turn in 2007. Right away, we took a hard look at the demand in Orange County. It was evident that the market was suffering from an oversupply of three-story townhomes and four-story condos. At Brandywine, we try to be very nimble. We don’t take anything for granted. So we moved rapidly to re-entitle the next two communities that were coming online, one in Stanton and one in Westminster. It took four months, but it was the right thing to do. Read More >

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Brandywine Building

July 4th, 2010


Brandywine Homes recently closed on a 2.5-acre lot in Garden Grove near The Block at Orange, where it plans to build 20 single-family homes.

Brandywine bought the land—near the intersection of Trask Avenue and Fairview Street—from six sellers, including the city of Garden Grove, for an undisclosed sum.

The company plans to begin construction on the development, named Pomelo, this summer. The first homes should be available in the second quarter of 2011.

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Our Towns: Central

July 2nd, 2010



Home project: Demolition of the old Fountain Valley First Christian Church is under way to make room for the new Lemongrass community. Brandywine Homes will build 16 single-family homes on the 2.95-acres site near the corner of Magnolia Street and Talbert Avenue. Model homes are expected to be completed by mid- to late summer. Information:

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Jim Tortolano’s Retorts: McMansion Bling Replacing Blight

July 2nd, 2010


There’s a saying about war that goes something like this. Amateurs talk about tactics and strategy, but professionals talk about logistics. Lee was perhaps a little bit smarter than Grant, for instance, but Grant had a lot more guns, horses, soldiers and supplies.

While much of the attention development-wise in this area usually focuses on the commercial aspect of the community – new stores, new entertainment venues – the truest measure of a city’s state is probably its housing stock.

Two interesting trends are developing in the Garden Grove-Stanton-Westminster area. First, the housing market seems to be slowly reviving. Familiar developers like Brandywine and Olson are betting that the new home market is coming back. The Century Village project in Garden Grove’s downtown area is evidence of that.

Also interesting is on the onward march of giant houses, referred to unkindly by some as “McMansions” or (my personal favorite) “garage Mahals.” You’ve seen them all over, but especially in the older residential tracts of the Big Strawberry. Small houses on big lots torn town and replaced by huge houses on big lots.

Drive along Garden Grove Boulevard near 9th Street, or try Loara Street (north of Chapman, east of Brookhurst Street). A row of elaborate new structures, with gables and multiple roofs, fountains, lions, gates, etc. Along Stanford Avenue between Brookhurst Street and Gilbert Street there appears to be a-building the biggest McMansion of them all.

It is still under construction, but you can count at least four garage bays and marvel at the dolphins leaping out of the soon-to-be fountain. Some people find them ugly, but I see beauty there. Someone finds Garden Grove the kind of place to build a castle, and I rather like that.

On a less emotional note, consider this. As older housing stock deteriorates, it must either be fixed up or it becomes a drag on the rest of the community. Replacing the older homes that sit on the city’s typicallylarge lots with newer ones eliminates blight, even as they bring a little bling.


This, of course, is a mixed blessing. Neighborhoods are turning in a rather eclectic hodgepodge of housing styles, and it’s not uncommon to see a two-story palace sitting next to a, uh, underloved, one-story tract house with more weeds than grass in the yard.

I think this is a reflection in part, of housing stock turning over in ownership from the original owners in the Fifties and Sixties to their heirs or people who bought them from the heirs. Some seniors found it difficult for health or financial reasons to maintain their property, or they moved out of the area and rented the property to tenants who were not highly motivated to live in a showplace.

But as time passes and newer owners come along, the picture is changing.

One of the advantages Garden Grove has is that since most of its housing stock was built in the Fifties and early Sixties, the homes were built on big pieces of land, because land was cheap then. Like the oil underneath Brea and Huntington Beach, what’s underfoot is turning into a huge asset.

Oil is a finite resource, so is land. So someday McMansions may not be a curiosity, but commonplace. Maybe someday this will be the new Brentwood, only without the hills. Or O.J.

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Century Triangle townhouse project advances

July 2nd, 2010


A proposal to build a 53-unit townhouse development in the Century Triangle of downtown Garden Grove was approved by the city’s Planning Commission Thursday night.

On a 4-0 vote with two members absent, the commission approved the application from Brandywine Homes to construct the project on the three-acre site in the area formed by Century Boulevard, Taft Street and Walnut Street. It would be immediately to the west of the Costco store.

The development would include interior streets, open space areas and an urban trail. The area is now partially vacant, with some portions occupied by automotive and other uses.

The proposal is expected to come before the Garden Grove City Council for final approval on Aug. 10.

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Brandywine moves forward with 20-home development in Garden Grove

July 1st, 2010


Brandywine Homes has acquired 2.5 acres of land in Garden Grove and plans to begin construction on a new 20-home development on the site this summer. The move is part of its efforts to boost its production capacity.

The Irvine-based homebuilder, which specializes in small to mid-size infill communities, purchased the property – made up of six separate parcels – from the city of Garden Grove and five other sellers for an undisclosed amount.

Titled Pomelo, the residential community will be located near The Block at Orange and will feature Mediterranean-style single-family homes ranging in size from 1,600 to 2,150 square feet with up to four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The homes will be catered specifically toward buyers in the Garden Grove area, according to the company. Read More >

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