Townhouse development in Carlsbad planned for former nursery site

Marja Acres in Carlsbad will have 248 townhouses. Rendered courtesy of KB Home

Knowledge base home in partnership with IHP Capital Partners built a subdivision in Carlsbad on the 20-acre site of a former nursery at 4901 El Camino Real.


“It’s kind of a lock-and-stay type community,” said Steve Ruffner, president of KB Home’s coastal division.
Designed to be a self-contained, walkable community where people can find everything they need without driving anywhere else, Marja Acres will have 248 townhouses, 10,000 square feet of commercial space that will include at least one restaurant and 46 apartments. affordable rentals for tenants 55 and older, and a child care center that will be open to Marja Acres families and the community at large.

The affordable apartments will be built by USA Properties.

Modern and Contemporary

The townhouses for sale will be split into two distinct neighborhoods, one designed in what KB Home described as a “modern farmhouse” while the other will have a more contemporary look.

The 121 farmhouse-style townhouses will have up to three bedrooms and 2-and-a-half bathrooms and range from 1,700 square feet to 1,740 square feet.

The 127 contemporary townhouses will have up to four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms and range from 2,000 square feet to 2,350 square feet.

The townhouses are designed to be energy efficient with solar electricity and WaterSense rated fixtures – an Environmental Protection Agency rating indicating that they conserve water.

Community facilities will include a 1 ½ acre village green, four pocket parks, a community center with a swimming pool, barbecue area and bocce ball court.

Work on the site is already underway and construction of the model homes is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022 with sales beginning in early 2023.

Neither KB nor IHP would disclose the cost to build Marja Acres or the likely sale price of the townhouses.


Jeff Enes, senior vice president of IHP Capital Partners, said the goal “is really to enable people who grew up in Carlsbad and live and work there to achieve a price under $1 million.” .
“The demographic is people who work in Carlsbad or North County and want to live in Carlsbad but can’t afford the more expensive single-family product available on the market,” Enes said.

Strong demand

The site at 4901 Camino Real between Kelly Drive and Cannon Road is the former Oasis Nursery & Landscaping.

In a whimsical twist, Ruffner said Marja Acres would somehow include the nursery’s chicken mascot somewhere on the site.

“It was very popular, so we’re going to try to incorporate that mascot into the community theme,” Ruffner said. “Just maybe a small statue.”

Despite rising interest rates, demand remains high for developments like Marja Acres, Ruffner said, in part because there are so few homes on the market.

“I’ve never seen such a low inventory of available homes,” Ruffner said. “There are far fewer homes than there is demand.

Townhouse developments are also attracting potential buyers who can no longer afford a detached single-family home, Ruffner said.

“We’re seeing a lot of people, they’re coming out of single-family homes and coming towards townhouses,” Ruffner said.

To help offset rising interest rates, he said KB Home has reintroduced variable rate mortgages for Marja Acres and its other communities.

IHP Capital Partners
Creation: 1992
Headquarters: Newport Beach
CEO: Douglas Neff
Activity: residential real estate investment company
Employees: 32
Social impact: supports Laura’s House and Interval House
Note: IHP has invested in over 250 residential properties valued at over $20 billion.

Knowledge base home
Creation: 1957
CEO: Jeffrey Mezger
Headquarters: Los Angeles
Company: National Home Builder
Employees: 2,224
Social Impact: In 2021, KB Home donated over $1 million to charity and company employees volunteered over 1,000 hours in communities served by the company.
Notable: KB Home has built nearly 655,000 homes since its inception and operates in 47 markets in the United States.

Dora W. Clawson