The groundbreaking ceremony for a new, sustainable, pedestrian and cyclist-friendly community, Vista Canyon, was held Thursday morning with more than 100 community leaders and residents in attendance.
The community “‘reimagines the suburban experience’ with a bustling, tree-lined ‘Main Street,’ dynamic work environments, ultra-accessible transit options, inviting gathering places, generous recreational amenities and abundant open space,” according to a news release. “
The developer, JSB Development, plans to honor the connection to local history, address community needs, be traffic smart, be environmentally-friendly and sustainable and create an important place, said JSB Founder and President Jim Backer.
“We are proud of the efforts leading to this milestone and we believe Vista Canyonwill be worth the wait of the past decade,” he said.
Located at the end of Lost Canyon Road near Sand Canyon in Canyon Country, the community is expected to include 1,100 apartments, townhomes and single-family residences as well as 1 million square feet of retail, office, hotel, dining, services and entertainment space, officials said.
More than half of the community is expected to be dedicated to parks, trails, river corridor and community open space, officials said.
“I hear all the time that these other cities and other areas want to do this, they think, regionally, this is the thing to do,” said city of Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean. “Well, we’re doing it. Santa Clarita is one of the most innovative cities and this just proved it.”
The project, which began in 2005, is expected to be completed within the next five to seven years with developers hopeful to have the area grated with paved road in the next year.
“The project is an excellent example of a public-private partnership,” said Bill Fain, a partner and director of Urban Design & Planning for Johnson Fain, an architectural firm. “Instead of turning the development away from the Santa Clara River, the project embraces it.”
Gensler and Johnson Fain are both architectural design partners for the Vista Canyon community.
The Phase One development is expected to be concentrated on the main retail street, according to the news release. This includes a 56,000 square foot office/retail building, an 18,000 square foot neighborhood retail store, a 614 space parking structure, and 480 studio, one and two bedroom apartment homes in complexes featuring fitness centers, resident lounges, pools, and outdoor common areas.
“A truly transit-intelligent community considers the multiple modes of transportation we utilize in our daily lives,” said JSB partner Steve Valenziano, in the news release. “In Vista Canyon, components fit together; bike and pedestrian paths lead to where people live, work, shop, gather or commute out of town. “Main Street” is no more than a ten-minute walk from anywhere in the community. The Transit Center is located in the heart of Vista Canyon’s ‘downtown.’ When ‘transit-oriented’ is done right, people can really leave their car at home, or may not need one at all.”
According to the news release, “the office building’s design has a rustic and open-air feel. Ground level retail with flexible office space above, addresses the needs of today’s mobile and divergent workforce and introduces many leading trends in destination office design to Santa Clarita’s office environment.”
The first phase also includes construction of a water reclamation facility, according to the news release. This is part of a comprehensive sustainability program, that will create more water on an annual basis than the community itself will use – resulting in a “net-zero” increase in consumption of local water.
The facility will create a recycled water supply that will more than serve Vista Canyon, with over two-thirds of the recycled water produced utilized by Castaic Lake Water Agency, Santa Clarita Valley’s regional water supplier, as part of its east side recycled water program, according to the news release.
“This property was first homesteaded by California pioneer Thomas Mitchell,” said Backer, in a news release. “With a smart, sustainable and forward thinking plan as our guide, we are building upon the history of the site as a place of innovation. The future holds great possibilities for those new businesses, employees, residents and neighbors who will make Vista Canyon their own.”