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I believe the Mondrian development is technically in Mountain View, right off of Evelyn and 237. Shea is a quality builder. I personally am not a big fan of the home push into areas formerly zoned industrial and light industrial. This however is happening everywhere and Mountain View is no exception especially along the rail road tracks.
I really don't think there is any hazard in that area for homes. The most obvious annoyance is just the surrounding area, highway, train, and businesses. As far as impact it will be a hindrance, as I imagine the construction will endure for some time. Living in a construction zone is frustration. Its dirty, there are noise issues, service stoppages such as water, gas, and electricity. It definitely affects your life. This is a trade off that you will have to decide for yourself. Buy older in an established neighborhood style development or buy new during construction in a less than ideal location. The obvious plus is convenience. You are a close drive to downtown Mountain View and an easy commute to virtually any jobs.
I first saw these when they came up almost 2 years ago, when they started. The have halted two projects that I know of, Mondrian and Boulevard in Santa Clara (these are sister projects the are identical as far as I can tell from the outside) and just started resuming construction on both. I have not been back since construction has resumed, and am not familiar with the pricing.
If you were to consider these homes, I would certainly expect huge incentives and discounts. It is always a risk being the first ones into a development. You never know what will happen. The good news is that Shea is a large builder and hopefully has enough cash and good credit to weather this storm. Nonetheless, know and feel confident that you should be able to negotiate with these developers.
I say this with the understanding that I am unfamiliar with the new pricing, but understand that we are in a strong buyers market, and the buyers are now making the demands that sellers or developers must consider in order to sell.
Another option would be to look into the Whisman Station development or the more recent Pulte Development that sold out last year. There will likely be some bank owned opportunities in either of these locations. There are also some new townhomes off of Central Ave. in Mountain View, you can see them from Central Expressway. They are being sold by Coldwell Banker.
If you need some guidance into the developments of the area I am happy to be of service to you. Please contact me if you have any questions.
I have not seen this new development yet but Shea does make beautful homes. Looking on the map the location looks like it may be a little noisey, as it is very close to 237 and Central, which is actually Mountain View, not Sunnyvale. However, that is a very good location for commuting. There are a lot of other newer homes near that development, so that is good for re-sale. The pros of buying early in a development is that you can get a better selection on the location of your home. The big minus is that you will be exposed to a lot of construction noise and dust. I would suggest that if you do buy in Phase 1 that you change the filter in your heater and air-conditioner every 2 months and don't leave the windows open during construction hours.
The other really important thing to do is make sure you get a price guarentee so if during the escrow period the prices are lowered you get the a reduction also.
If you are interested I wrote an article on the props and cons of buying new construction. Go to my web site http://www.marcymoyer.com and click on the link New Construction.
Let me know if you have any questions.