Take Down the Vacancy Sign

Davidson Communities is bringing back the storied past of a site that was known as The Cameron Center in the 1950s

Lawrence Karol Real Estate 0 Comments


For more than 28 years, a large parcel of land has sat vacant on the northeast corner of South Palm Canyon Drive and Mesquite Avenue in Palm Springs seemingly begging for someone to see its potential.

Davidson Communities is now that visionary someone and they are about to begin construction on 102 attached contemporary-style townhomes. The community, The Cameron, will be built in 11 phases with the first units available for sale this summer and an expected completion date by the end of 2018.

The development’s name harkens back to 1954 when George Cameron Jr. acquired this 12½-acre parcel to build his eponymous Cameron Center, which initially included the Springs Restaurant in a Googie-style building designed by William Cody. Over time, the center also added a Mayfair Market and a F.W. Woolworth department store. But all of the buildings were demolished in 1987 to make way for a Sheraton Hotel that never materialized.

Now, Davidson is bringing back a bit of the site’s storied past. “Our design themes were inspired by the timeless yet modern style that embodies Palm Springs, incorporating elements of bygone eras punctuated by chic and modern influences, as well as splashes of vibrant color balanced by textural, natural influences,” says Tim O’Grady, executive vice president of Davidson Communities.

“To keep things playful, we paired each of our color schemes with a corresponding cocktail—from a classic Old Fashioned (brass, chocolate, and cream-colored scheme) to a creative cocktail called The Blackbeard—a combination of Captain Morgan, root beer schnapps, and Pepsi (black-and-white color scheme).”

rendering courtesy of davidson communities

The community will have 102 townhomes that will feature contemporary architecture with a focus on indoor-outdoor living.

The houses will feature eight floor plans, including four that will incorporate private view decks that are set back from the existing homes on Mesquite Avenue and Random Road so they won’t intrude on the privacy or view corridors of the existing neighborhood. And 72 of the homes will have the option for buyers to add a private pool in their yard. O’Grady notes that Davidson’s design is sensitive to this amenity and will ensure privacy between all of the homes.

“We believe it’s pretty unusual to be offering eight floor plans in a community of 102 homes,” adds O’Grady. “We’re doing this to break up our street scenes—to keep them interesting and to integrate ourselves and not wall ourselves off from our neighbors.”

The homes will range from approximately 1,494 to 2,372 square feet in a variety of configurations including three-level townhomes with view decks to two-level patio homes with private pools. There will also be 22 three-story, live/work units that will offer opportunities for local business people to both live and work at The Cameron.

“Our approvals allowed us to create parcels for retail space and defined the square footage, but beyond that there’s nothing finalized,” says O’Grady. “Future tenants will need to come back to us with proposed architecture, plotting, and landscaping. [But] we are totally focused on the residential aspect of The Cameron right now and believe that the more successful we are with the homes, the better tenants we can attract to the commercial space.”

The community will also have a central recreation area that will include a common kitchen and meeting rooms, a gym, a social pool with shade structures and barbecues, a 75-foot lap pool, and two bocce ball courts.

“We are building for a buyer with an active lifestyle who appreciates private resort-style amenities within their own community, but who is also keen on walking to local restaurants and services just a mile away in the downtown area,” says O’Grady.

Pricing for the homes is still to be determined.

For more information on The Cameron, contact Cathie McGill at 858-259-8500, ext. 2464. A storefront information center near the site will open soon.

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