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San Gabriel Valley Tribune: “25-unit town home project coming to Duarte”

The property was once zoned for commercial, but no shops ever opened up there

Brandywine Homes is planning to build a 25-unit townhome project it calls Oliva on Huntington Drive in Duarte. (Courtesy rendering)


A new town home community will start construction on Huntington Drive between Mountain Avenue and Buena Vista Street in Duarte next year.

Dubbed Oliva, the new residents should be moving in by winter 2020. The project has been underway since December 2017, according to city officials.

The next step is for the builders to apply for permits, Craig Hensley, community development director for Duarte, said Monday.

Construction is expected to begin in spring; Brandywine Homes hopes to start selling units in summer 2019.

The land was originally zoned for commercial use but never saw any retail business, Hensley said. A private party owned a house on the lot, and the city owned the vacant land around it.

A Santa Monica-based development company, MJW investments, bought the house and the city’s portion of land to yield 1.26 acres of space for the new housing community, he said.

The property was rezoned for multifamily housing when the 25-home project was approved in December 2017, Hensley said.

“This will be a significant improvement to the Huntington Drive corridor,” Hensley said.

A 25-unit project like this is expected to yield $7.1 million in local income, $900,000 in taxes and other local government revenue and 98.5 jobs in the area, according to 2015 local impact studies from the National Association of Home Builders.

Duarte is also working on a new apartment complex in the Huntington Drive corridor. Hensley said development is on the upswing in the city right now to fulfill the demand for housing, both locally and regionally.

“From a community standpoint, it (the project) blends well with the condominiums west of it. It’s similar to what’s already going on on the street,” Hensley said.

The effort to remake Huntington Drive kicked off with a 161-unit apartment project approved in September last year. As a mixed-use project, that development includes 5,560 square feet of commercial space.