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Sunday, December 11, 2011


OGLING ORIGEN--I like going to model homes. Touring other people’s homes has been a career move I haven’t regretted in the least. Recently, I toured Civita in San Diego and a few years ago Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy. Civita in Italian means city or little city but Civita alone doesn’t help tourists. Rick Steves the venerable PBS travel expert, pointed out in his blog that when you ask an Italian “where is Civita?” Most will shrug, “Quale Civita?”

Civita in San Diego is a new master planned community. Quale? It’s north of Friars Road. Take Mission Center Road north to Civita Blvd. Right now only “Origen” by Shea Homes is open for viewing. Shea Homes Origen is the first for-sale community coming out of the ground at Tom Sudberry’s Civita, in what used to be the Grant family’s commercial gravel quarry since the 1920s. There will be five residential phases in the overall Civita Sudberry Properties master plan, including nearly 80 acres of green space plus business and retail along Friars Road.

The phases will be completed in domino style and eventually run from Mission Center Road to I-805. Buying talk at Shea’s Origen starts at $411,000 but for style, green/smart living these units will hold their value for location and functionality. Of course, I haven’t had breakfast there or checked out my neighbors.

The eight model homes in Origen I visited all look delicious. Designers from Design Line, Creative Design Consultants and Ami Samuel did all the heavy design lifting. I’ll take two, thank you. If you have to ask, my fav is unit 3-A within Origen’s social Garden complex. Bedroom design in 3-A was a total surprise. There designer Ami Samuel makes traditional headboards a thing of the past. See Origen on YouTube:

Stay tuned for a quick tour of another Civita. Quale? Italy, this time. Go to Rick Steves You Tube video on Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy. Steves is the master chef of travel writers. His appetizer on Civita di Bagnoregio is worth the 3-minute visit. Drop the following URL into your Google launch and see you in Italy.

After my afternoon model home gazing, we ended up at Gordon Biersch, a mile south at 5010 Mission Center Rd., for fine craft beer, food and clean living architecture. Nice day all around.

Images: Shea Homes Origen community in Mission Valley. Civita di Bagnoregio courtesy of Wikipedia.

Note: Youtube links are not live and need to be copied and pasted in search areas, i.e. Google etc.

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