Vista Canyon parking structure under construction with luxury apartment site in the distance. Lorena Mejia/The Signal

Vista Canyon developers say project moving along

Despite a heavy, wet winter, developers of Vista Canyon say the 185-acre project is steadily progressing, most recently closing land deals, and soon starting the tenant-approval process.

Late last year, the Santa Clarita City Council and the Los Angeles County Metro board approved multiple factors of the development, including the final tract map, bridge, transit center and new Metrolink station.

Out on the site, plenty has gone vertical in terms of construction, giving shape to what Valencia-based developers JSB Development have dubbed as Santa Clarita’s most “innovative, sustainable, adventurous and walkable community.”

Vista Canyon is in the process of becoming a mixed-use, pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly community with 1,100 homes, including townhomes, single-family residences and luxury apartments. The site will also offer close to 1 million square feet of commercial space and more than 21 acres preserved for recreation.

“We have continued to work heavily on infrastructure,” said JSB Development President Jim Backer. “When the rain started in October last year, that was, unfortunately, ill-timed for land development and as it started to dry out we would get more. That has certainly delayed us but with summer we’re now at a good time.”

Here’s a breakdown of what developers said is the latest:

Housing

Jefferson Vista Canyon, the project’s first major residential development with 480 luxury apartments, is now under construction, with its first tenants expected to move in by summer 2020, said Backer.

Development of the housing community was made possible after Dallas builders JPI, which own two other Santa Clarita Valley properties, closed construction financing of $190 million in January.

“Our new luxury apartment homes will be a perfect fit for JSB’s vision of creating a living environment that integrates urban vitality and connectivity with its own 10-mile system of bike, pedestrian and equestrian paths in one of the nation’s largest urban environments,” Rosie Cooper, executive vice president and regional managing partner of the Western Region for JPI, noted in a January statement.

Once completed, Jefferson Vista Canyon will include amenities such as two resort-style pools, speakeasy lounge, rooftop deck and a dog park/washing station — amenities “only available in developments for denser population areas,” according to JSB.

On May 30, homebuilders KB Home announced its latest acquisition of land to build approximately 154 new homes that promise to match the flexible and sustainable lifestyle behind Vista Canyon.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“The company has been very active in the Santa Clarita Valley for decades, and Vista Canyon is another opportunity to continue that legacy,” said Glen Longarini, president of KB Home’s L.A. and Ventura county division.

At present, the two-story residences would range in size between an estimated 1,400 and 2,300 square feet, with up to five bedrooms and three baths, as well as two-car garages. The homes, all built to Energy Star and WaterSense guidelines, are said to be more energy and water-efficient than most new and resale homes.

Construction is expected to begin this fall and a grand opening slated for summer 2020, according to Craig LeMessurier, senior director of corporate communications with KB Home.

Transportation

With the goal of creating a “car-optional” community, Vista Canyon will offer its residents multiple transit-focused options to get around. The 185-acre site will have its own transit center and Metrolink commuter rail stop, as well as a bridge.

“The Metrolink and bus transfer stations will offer improved connections in our community by adding new public transportation links, which in turn foster greater environmental sustainability,” said City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan. “These options will also contribute to job creation and stimulate our local economy.”

The city has been working closely with JSB to help bring these three projects to fruition, according to Carla Callahan, a city senior engineer.

Construction of the bus transfer station is expected to commence this fall, she said. A $20 million bridge, which would sit between Soledad Canyon Road and Lost Canyon Road, is still in the design stages and would hit construction by spring 2020.

The Metrolink station would be up for bids this winter and for construction next year if the city can wrap up grant funding of about $6 million of the total $44 million, added Callahan.

Office and retail

Among the most significant developments within Vista Canyon, size-wise, is its office and retail building, and completion is just weeks away, said Backer.

Now visible while on Highway 14 near Sand Canyon Road, the structure covers 57,000 square feet of space and reaches three stories high. The building is under phase one of the overall project and is the first on Lincoln Place, which is designated as the community’s work, retail and entertainment destination.

First completed office and retail building at Vista Canyon. Lorena Mejia/The Signal

Internationally renowned architect firm Gensler designed the ground-level retail with above office space that features a rustic and open-space concept with high ceilings, collaborative rooms, operable windows, outdoor patios and balconies.

“We’re almost finished with the office building and will start to do leases this summer and fall,” said Backer. “We have been very pleased that we’re getting a lot of people interested (in becoming tenants).”

Other projects in the works include landscaping, street paving, parking spaces and the construction of a water reclamation facility, which has been completed, according to developers. The system will recycle water supply utilized by SCV Water Agency for the community. The facility’s equipment is in the testing stages.

The next stages, Backer said, include the design of the next batch of buildings. The overall project completion is slated for 2023.  

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