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Golf Courses Are Out & Community Farms Are In: New Sustainably Designed ‘Agrihood’ Launches In Palm Springs

Feb 27th 2020 By Julia Brenner | Forbes
While the definition of an “agrihood” is still somewhat fluid, the term typically refers to a planned community centered around working green space, like community farms or community gardens. 

In the case of Miralon, the masterplan community includes 1,150 new residences that balance Mid-Century Modern-inspired style with “sustainable design that looks to the future of the Coachella Valley,” according to Freehold California Division President Brad Shuckhart. 

In many agrihoods, more traditional amenities, such as golf, are replaced by neighborhood gardens, farms or orchards, where residents interact with each other and learn how to grow their own produce.

One standout feature of the Miralon agrihood is the 309 acres that have been transformed from an 18-hole golf course into working olive and citrus groves, community gardens, and walking trails. Shuckhart notes that “as a leader in agrihoods” the vision for Freehold Communities is to create “vital communities that inspire healthful social interaction.”  

“Miralon is very specific to the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley region,” says Shuckhart. In addition to the upscale club and lounge areas residents have come to expect within a Palm Springs-based planned community, the Miralon concept includes harnessing local natural resources in more sustainable ways than building golf courses or tennis courts. 

Shuckhart explains that the development team “repurposed a former golf course into groves, parks, and trails, including more than 70 acres of olive trees, cultivated by Temecula Olive Oil Company, with drip-irrigation.” He further adds that “former golf cart paths will constitute approximately 6.5 miles of hiking trails. Former tee boxes and greens are being transformed into smaller groves, dog parks, exercise stations, and social areas. Olive oil from the orchard will be pressed on-site, and produce from the community gardens will go directly to the tables of residents.”

Shuckhart says that Freehold’s market research indicated that the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley market, in particular, would “welcome an alternative to golf-course communities.” And it appears that their research was spot on, as one of the new neighborhoods in Miralon, Flair by Woodbridge Pacific Group (WPG), received immediate sales of four MCM-inspired homes upon the recent opening of its models during Palm Springs Modernism Week (February 13-23, 2020). “We’re delighted with buyer response to these contemporary, Mid-Century-inspired designs, which offer simplicity, comfort and seamless indoor/outdoor connectivity,” states Woodbridge Pacific Group President Todd Cunningham. “We are equally delighted to see Flair contribute to the unique community fabric Freehold is creating at Miralon.”

“Yes, buyers attracted to the excellent design of these homes,” Shuckhart adds. “But they also tell us that if this were just another golf-course community they probably wouldn’t have chosen to buy here. The olive groves—the open space, views, and sustainable land planning are a big draw.”

Pricing for Flair homes start from the mid $500,000s. The 44 single-family homes range from approximately 2,029 to 2,809 square feet. Flair’s architect is Hannouche Architects of Newport Beach. The Mid-Century Modern interiors and staging in the model homes are by Chameleon Design of Costa Mesa.
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