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San Gabriel Valley Tribune “Ground to be broken for gated community in West Covina”

Gated community will have 19 single-family units on Valinda Avenue

WEST COVINA — After receiving approval in January, construction is slated to begin in June on a new gated community in West Covina.

The 19 single-family homes will be built on 2.3 acres on the site of a former Lutheran Church elementary school and playground at 512 S. Valinda Ave.

“We think buyers are going to be very excited about this,” said Dave Barisic, vice president of sales and marketing at Brandywine Homes, the company behind the project.

“There has been a lack of new homes in this area for a very long time. It will bring a new look to an area dominated by homes that are more than 60 years old. There is really nothing like this in the whole San Gabriel Valley. ”

The homes will range from 2,150 to 2,400 square feet, with three- and four-bedroom designs with eco-friendly features. The community will offer a toddler playground and barbecue area, and is near the Westfield Mall.

“We had to close the school for various reasons and we felt it was time to close it permanently and better serve the community in other ways,” Immanuel First Lutheran Church Pastor Mason Okubo said in December. “It’s just been sitting there, so we thought, let’s develop it with some nice homes.”

The church had been actively trying to sell a portion of its 5.1-acre land that includes a vacant pre-school through eighth-grade school, snack bar, walkways, grass athletic field and a sandlot with playground equipment. The site also contains trees that are being removed as part of the residential project.

The sanctuary and the parking lot leased out to the East Valley Community Health Center will remain intact.

The new homes, designed in partnership with architect Dave Maldonado of D33 Architecture, will be a mix of French and Spanish design.

“It’s a great neighborhood,” Barisic said. “The addition of mid-priced homes should bring in families with disposable income. So, in addition to the money being spent in the local community, the city will benefit from an increased property tax base. ”