New Homes: Alta Verde at Escena, Palm Springs

The gated entrance is your portal to your private Palm Springs enclave at the base of the magnificent San Jacinto Mountains and just minutes from Palm Springs International Airport. Escena is resort style living at its finest. The 130 captivatingly chic, upscale homes are surrounded by the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course voted the 6th best public golf course in California.

The Escena Lounge & Grill was voted the 2010 Best New Restaurant in Palm Springs and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with stunning views.

Six exceptional architectural modern home designs between 2,000 and 2,800 square feet feature open floor plans, stunning architecture and pulse-quickening panoramas. Every incomparable Escena home contains the most current Alta Verde technology and sustainable design features:

1. Arcadia: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2803 square feet

2. Evolution: 3 bedroom (optional library), 2.5 baths, 2219 square feet

3. Garden: 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths, 2537 square feet

4. Horizon: 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2649 square feet

5. Panorama: 3 bedroom (optional library), 2.5 baths, 2591 square feet

6. Zen: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2552 square feet

The prevailing, post-recession sensibility is simple, but cool. It’s smart and efficient. It’s comfort without excess. These houses speak in the architectural language of flat roofs, open floor plans and maximum connection to the outdoors. Imagine floor tile that emulates the look of polished concrete. Or sleek, high-gloss kitchen cabinets imported from Italy and unencumbered by hardware. Or biofuel fireplaces that deliver ambience without pollution.

For an industry burned by risk, building variations of existing tract housing may seem the safest course of action. But Alta Verde Group is betting that “Ikea has weaned America on modernism” and that modern has become mainstream.

The Escena floorplans define “modern” - not just with a sleek palette of finishes but also with how the three-bedroom floor plans use their space, which ranges from 2,200 to 2,600 square feet. Living rooms are large and lined with glass; in one model, 10.5-foot-tall Fleetwood sliding glass doors run the entire width of the house and practically bring the swimming pool to the sofa. Another floor plan has a main living-dining area that’s about 50 feet long, capped with a wall of glass overlooking the San Jacinto Mountains.

By comparison, master bedrooms are modest in scale, with much space devoted to closets. In some models, clever U-shaped bathrooms give two people their own vanities, each backed by additional closets — “could be his-and-his or hers-and-hers,” the construction supervisor points out.

The homes are marketed with the tagline “This Century Modern” and have been equipped to back up the pitch, including a solar panel system that comes standard and an optional plug-in car charger for the garage.

Prices begin in the upper $600's

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