Remember “Jingles,” Wild bill Hickok’s jovial companion for 7 years ~ above television throughout the ‘50s?

Veteran actor Andy Devine, who died eight years earlier this Feb. 18, play the part, and also now his son, Dennis, is the star, for the an initial time, of among his very own productions. It probably won’t be on tv or in movie theaters, though. It will be reflecting in Pacoima and Lakeview Terrace--in the north finish of the mountain Fernando Valley, previous the graffiti, jerry-built structures and also horses in small corrals.

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It’s called Foothill Homes, and also it’s Dennis Devine’s an initial solo task as a residential developer.

“I’ve been a builder for a lengthy time,” the 46-year-old Devine said. He’s been a builder because that 22 years, but 19 of those were with D&S; building (now known as D&S;/Wrather), which he developed with Peter Sidlow and sold come Wrather Corp. (with Sidlow continuing to be as D&S;/Wrather president) critical year. And his very first three years in building and construction were spent moonlighting, structure apartment dwellings with Sidlow and a pair of various other fellows while he was working as a loan officer because that a savings and also loan.


“So this is my an initial project by myself,” he said, “and as the an initial one the end of the chute, I desire to make it specifically good.”

He has constantly been a hand-operated builder, anyway, he says, yet he has been spending extra time and also trouble ~ above Foothill Homes.

“We operated hard (with architect James Heaton III) top top the architecture to offer buyers in this price range a flair that they generally don’t get,” that said. (About 100 that the 242 detached condominiums space expected to be priced indigenous $97,000 come $108,000 once the project opens for sales on march 15.)

The lots are only 38 1/2 feet wide, but the houses were draft with sufficient variation so that the buildings do not look like row housing.


Devine is likewise staggering the zero-lot lines to create much more yard areas. (The structure area ratio ranges from 42.6% to 44.1% of the airspace on each lot, including the former yard, and floor plans selection from 1,334 to 1,522 square feet in size.)

“And look in ~ this!” he said, rushing excitedly into one half-built home. “Here’s a home selling because that $95,000 that has actually a two-story entry and a curved, fairly than rectangular window over its front door.”

Not only that yet the residence will have actually a vaulted ceiling, understand closet in the grasp bedroom, a tub in every of the two complete bathrooms (each unit has three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths), no typical walls in between the master and also other bedrooms, and direct accessibility from the garage right into the kitchen. “Most dwellings for under $100,000 don’t have every one of this,” the said. “I’m trying to give people a little much more where i can.”

It’s not only a issue of make the many of his very first solo development. It’s a challenge, he explained, “to develop a box that doesn’t look choose a box and to create interesting room that is affordable.”

He’s a irritable architect. He appeared in three movies together a teen-ager, yet he was more interested in architectural design. “I won a advertisement art dispute at valve Nuys High,” he said. And also he studied design at USC prior to earning his degree in financing.

“I want to it is in an architect, yet I discovered that if you have actually the checkbook, you can manage the design,” he claimed with a laugh.

A most developers nothing care around controlling design, he added. And also a many developers nothing care around providing affordable housing.

After D&S; marketed to Wrather, Devine set out to perform both in the area that knows and loves best: the san Fernando Valley.

“D&S; had projects all over, yet I wanted to concentrate on a geography area. I wanted to continue to be localized in the Valley because that’s wherein I to be born and also raised,” he explained. “Then i wondered where I could build affordable real estate in the Valley.”

He journey the Valley’s length and also breadth before settling ~ above 24 acres at Foothill and also Van Nuys boulevards in the areas of Lakeview Terrace and Pacoima, in the city of Los Angeles.

It is a an excellent location, that determined, due to the fact that it is close come the Simi and also Foothill freeways. Together he put it: “It is 25 minute to anywhere.”

The property was likewise one of the last major parcels to be emerged in the Valley, the said.

And the is a community in transition.

Before Devine purchase his property, there were pigs, horses, dogs and cows ~ above it. The bought five ranches on i m sorry to construct Foothill Homes.

The area was considered economically depressed. Residential property values were amongst the shortest in the Valley, and also the concentration of minorities to be the highest. Of 90,000 people living in Pacoima in 1983, an estimated 35% to be black and also 40% to be Latino.

Then Pledgerville senior Citizens Villa (a 93-unit, $7-million federally-financed real estate project) opened up in Pacoima critical May, and Kaufman & broad opened that is 231-unit Lakeview Terrace detached housing advancement in December.

That project started drawing home buyers from almost everywhere Southern California, Devine said, “because the the adjacent freeways.”

Three reasons have actually been quote for development interest in the area: the ease of access of residential or commercial property (the northeast corner has few of the last big tracts of soil in the mountain Fernando Valley); the opening of the last stretch the the Foothill Freeway in 1981, and also the comparatively low real estate prices--in the $100,000 range. These prices space luring buyers who assumed they would have to go lot farther native downtown Los Angeles to find housing they can afford.

These buyers might be transforming the community’s country composition. “It’s still basically Hispanic,” he said, but casual survey (which he referred to as an “off-the-cuff assessment”) described home shoppers in the area as 40% Caucasian, 25% black, 25% Latino and also 10% Asian.

With the brand-new real legacy developments, the neighborhood certainly shows up to be shifting from weed-strewn lots, make-shift structures and abandoned car to new and tidy, well-kept homes, the observed.

For that, Devine gives City Councilman Howard Finn lot credit. “He’s to be a large help because he wants to promote for-sale (owner-occupied) housing,” that said.

Devine obtained city link financing the $5.5 million because that his affordable-housing project.

“Buyers will certainly pay one point with 30-year, fixed-rate assumable loans and also 95% financing with 5% down,” the explained. “Their payments will certainly be under $1,000 a month.

“This is a price-sensitive market, so we have actually a swim pool and Jacuzzi, however we didn’t overdo that (with such amenities).” The monthly master fee will be about $45.

Even for the 52-unit apartment structure he plans come build throughout the street on 3 1/2 acre he has actually purchased, he numbers that the sector will be basically families with children.

And that offers him one excuse to indulge his very own sense of fun--a sense he can have inherited indigenous his squeaky-voiced dad, who played comedy parts in around 400 films.

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“When us open, our template will be balloons,” that said. "(Interior designer) Beverly Trupp and I determined on that. We’ll call it, ‘Up, Up and also Away,’ and we’ll have actually balloon wallpaper in the models and also the salesgirls will certainly wear minature balloon earrings. We’ll have actually a warm air balloon with a spotlight overhead.