Imagine coming home to a residence surrounded by acres of pristine wilderness. You go for a dip in the heated outdoor infinity pool, then gather with friends at an inviting Spanish Colonial Revival clubhouse. All this, without ever losing sight of some of the East Bay’s most spectacular views.
Wilder in Orinda offers all that and more. Nestled cozily into the lush green hills of the East Bay burg, the discrete community is just minutes from San Francisco, public transportation and other attractive Bay Area locales.
The approach alone is a feast for the senses. Signaling its exclusivity, Wilder has its own freeway off-ramp, one of three Orinda exits on Highway 24. Once off the highway, a private drive winds leisurely past professionally groomed soccer fields to reveal clusters of carefully designed residences tucked neatly into a landscape that truly takes your breath away. The peace and majesty of the setting are more than enough to drive away the exigencies of the day.
About 20 years in the making, Wilder is a rare jewel in an area known for prestige and sumptuous views. The development is comprised of 245 home sites on 1,600 acres. About 1,300 of those acres are set aside as open space.
Development partner Brooks Street Builders “worked hard to create a win-win for the city, as well as the community,” says Michael Perry, the company’s senior vice president, sales and marketing.
Wilder — OrindaWilder.com — is divided into three neighborhoods. The first is comprised of custom homes built in accordance with developer guidelines to maintain uniformity of character. Custom lots are $700,000 to $1 million plus; the homes themselves start at around $2 million. You can choose an architect who is already familiar with Wilder’s standards and practices, or simply hire your own.
The other two neighborhoods are custom-style homes by builders Davidon Homes and Taylor Morrison. Among the available architectural styles are Mediterranean, Craftsman and Cottage. The three- to five-bedroom homes start around $2 million.
High ceilings, stunning hardwood floors and expansive but eminently livable layouts make these single- and two-level residences hard to resist. Materials and workmanship count for a lot in new construction, and the Davidon Homes and Taylor Morrison selections will not disappoint.
Wilder’s amenities are of a similarly high quality.
Chief among them is the Quarry House. A 7,000-square-foot community center infused with Old World flavor, it offers spectacular views — as far as Mount Diablo — and is fully LEED-certified. It includes a state-of-the-art gym, heated outdoor infinity pool and hot tub. Vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, robust stone walls and loads of natural light characterize the interior. The first floor boasts a massive seating area ideal for large, catered parties that can be partitioned for small get-togethers. There’s also an outdoor kitchen that boasts an actual stone fireplace rather than the usual fire pit. An on-site concierge plans events and handles bookings.
Respect for and commitment to the environment does not end with Quarry House’s LEED certification.
Wilder’s replanting work involves about 7,500 native oak trees, a 6-to-1 replacement of trees removed in the original grading phase. And 66 old-growth trees are now replanted after being boxed and nurtured through the grading process. Many are continuing their long lives on the hillsides that surround the residences.
Such an embarrassment of riches must give rise to great generosity. Including public space at Wilder was part of the development deal.
Already in use by the public — and adjacent to ample parking — are three playing fields suitable for soccer and other sports. Two additional fields are planned.
“Very few get a chance to be involved with a project as amazing as Wilder, we all feel honored to have worked on this community,” explains Bruce Yamamoto, Brooks Street Builders director of land development.
The planned Art and Garden Center — to be owned and operated by the city — is a 3,100-square-foot facility, perfect for hosting events, classes and presentations. It will include yoga studios, spaces suitable for the study and practice of the visual arts, limited performance space and outdoor landscaping.
In addition, public trails meander throughout the development, with equestrian accommodations at one access point. Cyclists, runners and hikers are also welcome to enjoy the breathtaking natural setting. Wilder’s hundreds of acres of natural open space are alive with creeks, woods, hills and meadows. Trails connect to Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, part of the East Bay Regional Park District.
According to Perry, the developer envisioned a community existing in complete harmony with nature, seamlessly integrating serene and spacious living spaces with the awe-inspiring nobility of the setting.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place so happily situated,” declares Elizabeth Bennet in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
Too bad Lizzie did not have the good fortune to visit Wilder in Orinda.
Published at Fri, 13 Apr 2018 22:21:04 +0000