Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Real Estate: Wathen-Castanos back in Clovis with new development

Homebuilder Wathen-Castanos Hybrid Homes has returned to Clovis with two new developments after a nearly two-year hiatus from the area to build homes in the south Valley and Paso Robles.

Construction is underway on the model homes for Artisan, a 68-home development at Harlan Ranch, northeast Clovis’ master-planned community. The homes will be built in the northeast corner of the community where Shepherd Avenue meets Highway 168, said Peter Castanos, director of sales.

“We’re happy to be back out in the Clovis market after being in Paso Robles, Hanford, Lemoore and Visalia where we’re still building,” Castanos said. “The success of those projects in the south Valley and the Central Coast have given us this opportunity to come back to Clovis.”

The single and two-story homes at Harlan Ranch will vary in size from 1,622 to 2,495 square feet on lots that are 4,593- to 10,775-square-feet in size. Prices have not been determined yet, Castanos said.

The models are expected to be finished by December for a January opening.

Wathen-Castanos is also building large homes in its Legacy neighborhood across the street from Harlan Ranch, west of De Wolfe Avenue. The 9-lot development is almost sold out. Only two lots remain.

The Legacy homes start at 3,000 square feet and will be built on 16,000 square feet lots or larger.

Real Estate: The south Valley has a new home builder

(Submitted photo. Jim Robinson (left), Joe Leal and Randy Merrill are the principals of San Joaquin Valley Homes.)

Home buyers in the south Valley have a new builder to consider when looking to buy or build their new home.

San Joaquin Valley Homes has joined the new home market.

The Visalia-based company is led by Joe Leal, who oversaw the growth of national builder McMillin Homes in the Central Valley for five years and two former McMillin colleagues – Jim Robinson and Randy Merrill.  The trio has also teamed up with Don Faye of Presidio Residential, a real estate construction lending company.

“Jim, Randy and I worked together for 15 years at The Allen Group and then at McMillin Homes and we have learned a great deal over the years,” Leal said. “We understand that home buyers want a quality home that offers value.”

Robinson, an engineer, manages land acquisition, land development and entitlement for the new company.

“We were fortunate to be able to make some good decisions and the time is right,” Robinson said. “The economy has picked up and there is now a shortage of available homes. We are excited about the future and pleased to be building homes again.”

The company will begin building two developments in the fall. The first will be Hartley Grove near 12th Avenue, south of Highway 198 which is expected to open for sale in late September. The second will be Savannah in Tulare, at Cross Avenue and West Street which is slated for a late October opening.

Both developments will have five floor plans with one and two story designs that range in size from 1,390 to 2,322 square feet.

The company expects to open up to eight neighborhoods in Tulare, Kings and Kern counties by next summer.

Real Estate: Fresno issues fewer new home building permits in June

Fewer building permits for single-family home construction were issued in Fresno last month than in May, according to city permit numbers.

In June, the city issued 87 building permits compared to 106 the month before.

Last year at the same time, the city issued 109 new home building permits, but in May 2012 only 77 permits were given.

So far this year, a total of 489 permits have been issued, the city reported.  During the housing boom in 2005 and 2006, the city issued 2,960 and 2,257 permits respectively.


Real Estate: McCaffrey Homes wins top honor at Gold Nugget Awards

(Photo courtesy of McCaffrey Homes. The home builder received a Gold Nugget Grand Award for architectural excellence on June 5 for this Tribeca Plan 4 design at its The Heights in Loma Vista neighborhood in Clovis.)

McCaffrey Homes won a top honor for architectural excellence at this year’s Gold Nugget awards competition in San Diego on June 5.

The Fresno and Clovis home builder won a Grand Award for its Tribeca Plan 4 design, one of four floorplans available at The Heights at Loma Vista neighborhood in Clovis.

The Tribeca plan, which has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, was honored for its high energy ratings, use of side and rear yard spaces, and its street appeal.

“The home is rich in finish materials and feels substantially larger than it is,” the judges said. “Inside, the home has great character and lives large with an open floor plan, multiple indoor/outdoor relationships and an upper floor with generous-sized bedrooms.”

The builder also received four merit awards for the designs of the following homes:

  • The Chelsea, Greenwich and Tribeca plans at The Heights on Ashlan and Locan avenues.
  • Carnelian plan at The Gallery in Loma Vista on Ashlan and DeWolf avenues.

Visit McCaffrey Homes for more information.

Real Estate: Ivanhoe celebrates first new apartment complex since 1992

(Photo provided by the Corporation for Better Housing. The Linda Vista Apartments in Ivanhoe.)

The unincorporated town of Ivanhoe on Tuesday celebrated the grand opening of its first new affordable apartment complex in years.

The Linda Vista Apartments, on the southwest corner of Avenue 327 and Highway 216, is the first new apartment development to be built since 1992, according to the Tulare County Resource Management Agency.

The $16.6 million project answers a call from the agricultural community to provide housing for the area’s poor and farm-worker families. It was paid for with state and federal housing grants, tax credits and farmworker housing funds.

“Safe, affordable housing has long been sorely needed in Ivanhoe,” said Tulare County Supervisor Steve Worthley, who represents the area.

The 76-unit complex has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, a community center, basketball court and playground area.

The developer was the Corporation for Better Housing, a Sherman Oaks-based nonprofit development company has has built several other affordable housing projects in Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties.

For more information, visit

Real Estate: Granville starts another downtown project

Construction has started on a new GV Urban project in downtown Fresno.

The concrete pads are in place for 1612 Fulton, a 30-unit mixed-used development next to Biz-Werx, a business center at Fulton and Calaveras streets. The center was also built by GV Urban, a division of Granville Homes.

The new development will have 18 single-floor residential units that range from 645 to 706 square feet with an attached garage, a balcony or patio, washer and dryer hookups and stainless steel appliances.

Another 12 three-story live and work units will also be built. The first floor will have a 199-square-foot office space while the second and third floors will have a total living space of 1,297 square feet. The units will have a two-car garage and balcony.

The development is expected to be finished by next summer.

Real Estate: Fresno nurse wins St. Jude Dream Home

The 2012 St. Jude Dream Home giveaway grand prize winner Brenda Lincoln. (Photo from De Young Properties)

A Fresno nurse won a “dream home” built by Clovis builders De Young Properties during the annual St. Jude Dream Home giveaway this year.

The winning ticket, purchased by Brenda Lincoln, was pulled from among 10,000 tickets on Sunday night during a live drawing on KMPH (Channel 26.1) as reported by my colleague Angel Moreno.

Lincoln, a recovery-room nurse at Kaiser Permanente, won a 2,064-square-foot house with four bedrooms and two bathrooms in the Chestnut Grove community at Chestnut and Teague avenues. The house is valued at $345,000.

Another 22 people from across the Valley won smaller prizes in the contest, organizers said, including a private wine tasting party at Milla Vineyards, a $1,020 gift certificate to Yosemite Falls Cafe, a $1,000 shopping spree to J.C. Penny and free gas and groceries for a year.

The giveaway raised $1,004,020 for the hospital. This is the sixth St. Jude home built by De Young Properties.

Real Estate: McCaffrey Homes opens two new Clovis neighborhoods


The front door and private side yard of a model home at The Gallery, one of McCaffrey Homes’ two new neighborhoods unveiled this weekend.

McCaffrey Homes opened two new Clovis neighborhoods to the public this weekend: The Gallery and The Heights.

I was invited to a sneak preview on Thursday. The Gallery, on Ashlan and DeWolf avenues, has four different designs that range in size from 1,308 to 2,245 square feet and have up to four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. The idea in this neighborhood is to blend indoor and outdoor living.

The McCaffreys do just that with welcoming front courtyards, private side yards – some with sliding glass doors that lead into the home – and covered back patios with fireplaces. Large living room windows and sliding glass doors off the dining area allow for lots of entertaining.  A neighborhood park and walking trails are planned. The homes start in the low $220,000s.

The Heights at Loma Vista, about a mile down the road on the corner of Ashlan and Locan avenues, has smaller homes, but the neighborhood has more amenities. The houses range in size from 1,141 to 1,753 square feet and up to 3 bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. The houses are “Smart Homes” designed to consume less energy, water and natural resources.

The neighborhood will have a park with tot lot and a private swimming pool with barbecue. The houses start at $199,999.

For more information, visit

Real Estate: Fresno architect’s design of a Florida home will appear on HGTV

The Hilton House in Panama City, Fla.
Photo provided by Arthur Dyson.

Fresno architect Arthur Dyson’s free-flowing design of a house nestled among the sand dunes of Panama City in Florida will appear on HGTV’s “Extreme Homes” show at 9 p.m. Thursday night.

Dyson, who studied under famed designer Frank Lloyd Wright, was picked in a worldwide search by Panama City businessman Charles Hilton and his wife, Lela, to design their seaside home, Dyson said.

The 9,500-square-foot house captures the fluidity of the surrounding ocean waves using Dyson’s trademark designs of sweeping lines and curves with a focus on scale, texture and color.

The open floor plan has few walls creating a seamless transition throughout the five-bedroom, six bathroom home. The primary rooms are suspended on concrete pods at various levels inside the house. A staircase winds around a glass-enclosed elevator while a second stairway curves around native palm plants.

A blue-green tinted glass provides the homeowners with unobstructed views of the ocean while a large wing-like white roof shields the home from the sun.

Dyson, who declined to reveal the cost of the house, is modest when asked about how he feels about his work now that that house is finished.

“I feel that the greatest success of the home is that it truly expresses itself with the symbolic poetry of its occupants,” Dyson said.

Some of Dyson’s local projects include the Woodward Park Regional Library, University High School Campus, a football-shaped Sanger home, and the Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple’s Family Dharma Center.

Interior of the Hilton House which has blue-green tinted glass and an open floor plan.
Photo provided by Arthur Dyson

Real Estate: GV Urban opens Bungalow Court in downtown Fresno


GV Urban’s Bungalow Court on East Divisadero Avenue in downtown Fresno.

GV Urban held a grand opening for its newest preservation project in downtown Fresno on Tuesday morning.

Bungalow Court, originally built in 1922, is a small U-shaped, seven-unit community on the corner of East Divisadero Avenue and Van Ness Avenue.

GV Urban, a division of Granville Homes, renovated five of the existing buildings and rebuilt two that were destroyed in a fire using every piece of salvageable material from the original structures. A two-story building at the south end of the complex has a downstairs and upstairs unit.

A built-in bookcase in select units at Bungalow Court.

The one- and two-bedroom homes range in size from 672 square feet to 683 square feet. The homes have newly built kitchens and bathrooms, restored Craftsman doors, tankless water heaters and some units have built-in bookcases that capture the charm of a cozy bungalow.

The project joins several other Granville projects in Fresno’s Mural District and the nearby Lowell Neighborhood including Fulton Village, a mixed-use development on Fulton and Amador streets, and 330 N. Van Ness Cottages, townhomes at Van Ness Avenue near the onramp to Highway 180.

For more information about Bungalow Court or any GV Urban development, visit or call the leasing office at (559) 233-0288.