At the regular meeting of the Cypress City Council held on May 10, 2021, the Council approved a proposal from Melia Homes to build 135 multi-family homes on a portion of unused parking lot at Los Alamitos Race Course (LARC).
The location of the now-approved proposal is northeast of the site of the Shea commercial project fronting on Katella Avenue. The Shea Homes project site has already been fenced off. According to a spokesman from Melia Homes, their worksite will also be fenced off once the sale of the property has been completed. He expects fencing to take place by mid July. Once fencing is in place, drivers seeking a quick shortcut across the Race Course parking lot to or from Costco will be forced to use Winners Circle, Katella Avenue, or Walker Street.
In the photo above, Costco is south of the bounding box. Office buildings separate the job site from Walker Street. The Race Course Grand Stand, race track, and infield are to the northwest. Just to the west is overflow parking for the Race Course.
As can be seen from the photo, the project does not stretch as far as Winners Circle or Siboney Street (the entrance to the Race Course). Once the site is developed, residents and guests will enter on the north side from an extension to Vessels Circle.
Melia Homes aim for demolition and grading of the site to begin in Fall 2021. They foresee completion within two years, with units selling at market rate at that time.
What the completed project will look like
The project will be laid out in a square, with entrance from Vessels Circle at the middle of the north side.
As is shown in the landscape schematic above, interior access is provided off of Vessels Circle, with contiguous circulation around the development. A single layer of residences forms a perimeter with garages opening to the interior street. The balance of residences are at the center in four U-shaped blocks. Ground-floor garages open onto the inside of the U-shaped blocks.
The buildings are of two heights, and quite handsome, as shown in the graphic below.
The Melia Homes spokesman stressed that the company wants the project to be well-accepted by the Cypress community. “We take the responsibility as the first development on Race Course property seriously and intend to set a standard of design quality that will influence future development on LARC.” The company wants to set a high bar also for security, privacy, and connectivity for the development’s residents.
Those wanting more information should visit Melia Homes and look for active development sites. Although information is not yet published, it will be soon.
A note about development and population
The City of Cypress continues its transformation from largely rural at the time of its incorporation to an almost entirely developed suburb with a large area of commercial and light industrial components, especially along the so-called Katella Avenue Corridor.
The hopes of city planners, both within the City government and among prominent business owners, to further enhance the commercial base within the City along Lincoln Avenue have largely been frustrated. Original property owners, hoping for a big paycheck from sale of their property, have individually turned to infill residential property developers rather than continuing to hold out for consolidation into larger commercial projects. This has resulted in a number of disconnected infill multi-family residential projects that provide more housing units while irritating residents in nearby single-family residences. Interestingly, despite this increase in housing units, the California Department of Finance estimates that the population of Cypress has decreased from 49,055 in 2020 to 48,531 in 2021 (-1.07%). The City’s population in 2010 was 47,802, an increase of 1.5%.