As California struggles with a housing shortage crisis, developers are still finding vacant spots in Citrus Heights to tuck new housing into — with several hundred homes and housing units either approved or proposed to be constructed in the near future.

The most major project currently under review is a 260-unit proposal off Arcadia Drive, near Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane. The project is set to be considered for approval by the city’s planning commission this Wednesday.

Other housing projects in the city include a 42-unit development behind Bearpaw’s corporate headquarters at Sylvan Corners that was approved earlier this year, along with a 23-home development off Sunrise Boulevard at 7878 Lawrence Ave. — although that project appears to have stalled sometime after it was approved in 2016. Work has also begun on a 46-home development at 5555 Mariposa Ave., and a proposal is currently under review to build eight new single-family homes on a small lot next to Walmart on Auburn Boulevard.

First on schedule for completion is Watt Communities’ new Mariposa Creek development, a project that will bring 15 new single-family homes to 7625 Antelope Rd., near Mariposa Avenue, on what the city council had once identified as a “preferred site” to build a new city hall back in 2014. Earth-moving equipment has been at the 3.5-acre site for several months, and Kevin Webb, Northern California division president for Watt Communities, told The Sentinel construction of the homes is on schedule to begin next month, with homes slated to be sold and completed by December of this year.

Webb said prices will be in the lower $400,000-range, with single-story options featuring a 1,966-square-foot floor plan, three bedrooms and a two-car garage, according to Watt Communities’ website. Two-story options will feature a larger layout of around 2,500-square-feet, with four bedrooms and a loft, along with three bathrooms and a two-car garage.

As reported by The Sentinel earlier this month, the Mariposa Creek development will also include a new street, Turner Court, named in honor of the late Councilman Mel Turner, who passed away while serving his second term in office last year.

Watt Communities is also the company which has proposed the massive, 56-acre Mitchell Farms development off Arcadia Drive, where the Sunrise Golf Course currently operates. Since being proposed in 2016, an extensive environmental review was undertaken that took nearly a year to complete and generated a 1,000-plus page environmental impact report, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

Related: Watt Communities proposes huge 261-unit development in Citrus Heights

The housing is planned to be spread out into three general communities, with a large 23-acre swath down the middle remaining undeveloped due to a 100-year flood plain associated with Arcade Creek. According to the latest map of the proposal, the development would be accessible through two entrances on Arcadia Drive, with a roundabout, as well as an entrance on Fair Oaks Boulevard, just south of the Heather Downs apartment complex.

Proposed 260-unit Mitchell Farms development.

Webb previously told The Sentinel that prices will range from the “high 2’s to low 4’s,” with sizes ranging from 1,400-square-feet to 2,500-square-feet. He said “cluster units” are proposed to feature a master bedroom downstairs and be targeted towards seniors, while other single-family homes and units would be targeted towards first-time home buyers and new families. All homes would be governed by a home owners association.

The initial proposal has undergone some changes — including a minor reduction in the number of units to 260, as well as a connector road in the development no longer being proposed to handle vehicle traffic, according to the agenda packet for the upcoming planning commission meeting.

During a public hearing held in April regarding the draft environmental impact report, two residents spoke and addressed concerns regarding public safety, fire and flooding, as well as noise along Sunrise Boulevard.

Nancy Graham, president of the area’s neighborhood association also wrote a letter to the city stating concerns about a perceived lack of privacy and security for homes along Arcadia drive that are proposed to face towards the street, rather than facing in with a wall along Arcadia. She also noted concerns about added traffic on Fair Oaks Boulevard and suggested more fencing and gates to reduce access for homeless who may want to camp in the greenbelt that would run through the development.

At the July 18 meeting, planning commissioners will consider approving a general plan and zoning code amendment related to the project, along with approving a tentative subdivision map, design review and tree permits, and certification of the project’s environmental impact report. The meeting will be held at city hall at 7 p.m.

by Daily News — A collection of residences in one of Southern California’s most sought-after neighborhoods. 

There’s been much excitement around the previewing of Moreton Place in Glendora—a limited collection of 40 single family detached new homes by Watt Communities.

These spacious floor plans offer between 1,634 and 1,782 square feet of living space, up to four bedrooms and a two-car garage. Guests can explore the virtual tours in the sales office, as models are scheduled to debut in late 2018.

“We are excited to share this new home community in one of Southern California’s most sought after neighborhoods,” said Southern California Division President Nam Joe. “This location offers residents convenient access to excellent schools, local dining and shopping, and the Foothill Gold line.”

Established in 1887, Glendora is nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Glendora Village has been voted as one of the best downtowns in the San Gabriel Valley. It hosts dozens of restaurants, cafes, shops and boutiques along the main street with many community events scheduled throughout the year. A small-town vibe combined with a consistently high-ranking school district have made the city an attractive choice for homebuyers. Glendora Village offers unique dining and shopping experiences for everyone.

Our commitment to building quality homes coupled with close attention to detail make Watt Communities a smart choice. Residents will enjoy a low monthly HOA fee that covers a community tot lot, picnic area and built-in barbecue. These two-story homes are pre-selling in the $600,000s.

Those interested in a new home at Moreton Place are encouraged to schedule an appointment by calling 626-773-4444 or by going to The sales office is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Nadine Watt is president of Watt Communities, a 70-year-old real estate firm in Santa Monica that was founded by her grandfather, Ray Watt. The 106-employee operation has developed homes for more than 100,000 families, built more than 8 million square feet of office space and developed more than 50 shopping centers. It’s also developed three hotels and six master-planned communities. When she became president in 2011, Watt led a reorganization that expanded the company’s range of business to acquisitions, real estate development and entrepreneurial joint ventures to lessen its exposure to the volatile retail market. Her company won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Los Angeles area.
Planning ahead

Watt’s company can be greatly affected by economic downturns, such as the 2008 housing industry meltdown. Diversifying and expanding limits exposure to retail turbulence at a time when malls are struggling to keep tenants. “I’m not always going to be able to find a ‘We Work’ to move into my abandoned department store space,” she said.

Basic training

Several family members are still active in the company or on its board, but Watt never intended to be one of them. She learned French, Greek and Italian while attending Georgetown University’s foreign service school. She also had an interest in acting, directing or producing. Watt earned a graduate degree in filmmaking from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and worked for MDP Worldwide, a foreign film sales company, until 1999.

“I was selling scripts with actors attached to get the film made. It was like going to business school without actually going to business school,” Watt said.

Sly father

When MDP struggled financially, Watt left and felt the pull of family, especially her father, Scott, who still serves as chief executive. She jokingly referred to him during this period as Darth Vader, asking her to come back to the dark side.

Watt recalled her father telling her in 2000, “‘I still want you to know what’s going on at the company and be able to read a balance sheet and to know how our company works. So, you can send out resumes, you can make phone calls, you can go on interviews, but I want you around here,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe I’m doing this.’”

Earning it

There can be great resentment when a person who has shown no previous interest in a family business suddenly looks like he or she might rise up in the company without deserving it. Watt felt that immediately, from family members and colleagues. “My father and my grandfather made me earn it. The employees were skeptical. I had to come in very humble. I had to come in admitting that I didn’t know anything, starting at the bottom. I had to earn the respect to become even assistant project manager, then project manager.”

The mentor

Once Watt had surprised everyone by sticking to her initial two-year commitment to work for the family, there was even more to learn beyond her initial job as an assistant in leasing and property management at Century City’s Watt Plaza office complex, one of the crown jewels in the company’s portfolio. The company’s then chief financial officer, Ryoko Takata, took Watt under her wing.

“I had to work in each division and learn how it worked,” Watt said. “Takata set up a curriculum for me with a notebook and sent me to USC to learn what a profit-and-loss statement was and learn what a balance sheet was and how to read it. They really groomed me.”

Grandfatherly advice

One of the ways in which Watt endeared herself to co-workers was to remember both a lesson and an example that was set by her grandfather, Ray Watt, a prolific and innovative developer who helped define the look of modern Southern California. Watt, who died in 2009 at age 90, was considered the first in the Western U.S. to popularize condominiums, strip shopping centers, time-share vacation homes and residential communities that share features such as golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools and lakes. “He always taught me to treat everyone with respect. He always looked everyone in the eye and said hello, and he asked them questions. He knew a little bit about everyone from his janitors to presidents. The last thing he ever said to me was, ‘Do your homework.’”

Making her mark

Nadine Watt helped develop more than 300 apartment units and two shopping centers. While overseeing the 920,000-square-foot Watt Plaza, she steered a major renovation that in 2009 led to a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for the twin 23-story office tower complex.

The buildings were “dark and gloomy,” Watt said, “and needed a refresh. People didn’t believe we would put any money into it. I wanted to make sure we included a lot of sustainability in that. My grandfather felt ‘unless there’s ROI (return on investment) why do it?’ And I thought, because we need ROI for the earth, for the world, for humanity.”


Watt is dismayed when her company offers summer internships and women seldom apply. “I have an obligation to give back and to continue to open doors for other women in business. I work very hard to serve as a mentor and bring other women to the table. I’m not the person who says, ‘Well, I’m here and now I just need to fight to stay here.’ I embrace the opportunity to bring people up.”

By example

“The preponderance of my executives are women. Our board is predominantly women,” Watt said. “I think the industry as a whole needs to make a more concerted effort to make women more visible as keynote speakers and board members.”

Leadership style

Watt said she believes in hiring smart people who are willing to challenge her. “I do want to hire the best people.” she said. “I want to hire people who know more than I do. I’m always looking for passionate people, innovators, problem solvers, people who are willing to speak up and ask questions.”

Giving back

Watt is particularly proud of the L.A. Homelessness Challenge announced in May. It’s a partnership between United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Home for Good Funders Collaborative, and the Watt family. The Watt family is donating $350,000 in a competition to encourage teams to come up with innovative solutions to homelessness.

“My sort of personal motto is ‘Do well by doing good,’” Watt said. “Why go through all this if you can’t give back? Why work so hard? For me, that is part of my joy, to be able to be philanthropic and to be able to give back.”


Watt, 49, and her husband, Andrew Jameson, have two daughters, Keira, 14, and Reese, 11. As a family they love traveling and discovering new restaurants. Watt and Jameson also have taken up karaoke as a hobby. Neither chooses anything that’s even remotely easy to sing. “My husband likes Sinatra and Elvis,” Watt said. “I like to sing “Black Velvet.” We don’t mess around.”

New Citrus Heights street will be named in honor of late councilman Mel Turner.

 — Sentinel staff report — 

Citrus Heights will soon have a new street called “Turner Court,” named after the late Councilman Mel Turner who passed away last year while serving his second term on the city council.

The street will be located in a new 15-home development currently under construction off Antelope Road near Mariposa Avenue, with the name chosen by the developer, Watt Communities, in honor of the councilman.

“It was a pleasure to work with Mel on my first project in Citrus Heights, AutumnWood, and the planning meetings I had on the Mitchell Farms project,” Kevin Webb, Northern California division president for Watt Communities, told The Sentinel in an email on Wednesday. “We will miss Mel Turner.”

Turner first joined the council in 2010 and served a one-year term as the city’s mayor in 2014. He was reelected to a four-year term on the council in 2014, but passed away at age 67 on April 20, 2017, after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year.

Known for his warm leadership and deep voice, Turner had a focus on mentoring youth and fostering leadership and was credited for his role as a founding member of the Citrus Heights Police Activities League.

The street named in his honor will be paved later this year in the “Mariposa Creek” housing development, which Watt Communities plans to have completed by the end of the year.

Asked how street names are determined in Citrus Heights, the city’s Community Services Director Rhonda Sherman said names are chosen by developers, with the city’s role being to check “to make sure there are no streets with the same name or other conflicts.”

Watt Communities has been involved in several current and past housing projects within Citrus Heights’ city limits, including the 46-home AutumnWood development off Antelope Road near Interstate 80 and the current 261-unit Mitchell Farms project proposed off Arcadia Drive.