In 1982 word spread that an over 55 (55+) retirement community was being built in South Oceanside. That was the start of Ocean Hills Country Club real estate history. Leisure Technology was taking reservations for the Oceanside homes for sale that were soon to be built. Potential Ocean Hills Country Club buyers (then called Leisure Village) began to arrive by way of Highway 78 to Emerald Road and then Sunset Road. At the time Sunset Road was just a dusty unpaved road running through tomato fields and opening into a blank expanse in the rolling hills. No trees, no bushes, no nothing. In the middle of this void, stood the only indication of civilization. This was a sales trailer in front of a framed building that was to become the beautiful Ocean Hills Country Club clubhouse. Many San Diego North County buyers began to make reservations for the Ocean Hills homes, sight unseen.
After the Ocean Hills clubhouse was finished, the largest of the rooms, Abravanel Hall, became the center for everything. It was an auditorium, banquet room, a theater, a movie theater, and a ballroom with a 40 x 30 hardwood dance floor. It had an adjacent kitchen, pantry, and storage area. In April 1984, the first of the Ocean Hills Country Club homes were completed and the first move-in took place. The first residents were Hiram and Elaine Martin. Soon many more people began to move into the homes on Cordoba Way.
Ocean Hills Country Club real estate had its problems, but the new residents were determined to make things work. They could already tell that Ocean Hills was going to be a great place to live. A month later, Leisure Village was dedicated with Alexander Haig (former Secretary of State) and many local politicians in attendance. By fall the front gate was operational, the RV storage was ready, and most things started to fall into place. Soon the executive golf course opened and cable TV became a reality.
Leisure Village was one of the first planned developments in San Diego North County to use “increased densification.” This term means putting a lot more houses on less land. Living close is not all bad, it can increase the desirability of a community by creating a friendly village atmosphere, not unlike those in a Mediterranean country. Initial Ocean Hills homes ranged from 871 esf to 1819 esf. They were priced from $90,000 to $225,000. Ocean Hills was designed around the clubhouse, the designated center off all activities. The clubhouse was made to resemble an elegant resort where residents would gather to relax and enjoy great company and the many activities offered.
The design of Ocean Hills Country Club was to respond to the lifestyles that active retirees desired. People wanted to get out and walk, talk to neighbors, and take part in community activity. High density helps to achieve this feeling as well as to reduce the cost of housing. For the following 6 to 8 years Ocean Hills Country Club homes sold well. The homes all had a white stucco exterior and a red tile roof in keeping with a Mediterranean and Aegean motif. Utilities were all underground and front yard landscaping and irrigation were provided to residents. In 1992 came an economic downturn and Leisure Tech was bankrupt. Opposite the clubhouse were five model free-standing homes. MSK, a small housing developer, purchased the adjacent acreage for 19 homes, and using the Leisure Tech plans, completed the street. It took three more years to complete thirteen unfinished houses sold to Kaufman and Broad. Ryland then completed the remaining 234 homes on the outer rim, and by November of 1998, Ocean Hills Country Club homes were fully developed.
To get more information about Ocean Hills Country Club, contact Gary Harmon, your Ocean Hills seniors specialist.