How One California Community Maximizes Outdoor Living


Outdoor living and a connection to the outdoors have been highly desirable to home owners in recent years — an interest that has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Features such as patios and front porches remain high on prospective home owners’ wish lists, and the multifamily industry has been creatively looking at ways it can continue to incorporate these features and comparable amenities into their projects.

A great example is Novel Park at Great Park Neighborhoods in Orange County, Calif., winner of the 2020 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards for Best Condominium Community. Like all of Great Park Neighborhoods, Novel Park emphasizes connectivity and joyous living through indoor/outdoor enjoyment. Its neighborhood amenities include a flex lawn, Zen garden, playground, parks for small and large dogs, and dog-wash stations. Its community center features a coffee shop, roof terrace, work spaces and fire pit, and combines with front courtyard/porch-dominant architecture to help keep residents connected to the outdoors.

The community offers a “serene environment for those who want to enjoy a stroll outdoors or sit in quiet contemplation,” noted one Pillars judge, in addition to meeting areas for “those who want to gather with friends or romp with their four-legged friends.”

“It’s more of a park than what one would normally think of as a multifamily amenity space,” the judge added.

Novel Park is the fifth of a seven-neighborhood community surrounding the Orange County Great Park and provides direct access to the community’s many recreational, social and cultural amenities: abundant open space, signature parks and trails linked to the Great Park community. Builder/developer FivePoint notes that all neighborhoods are also convenient to work centers, transportation corridors and services.

Within the community, venues entice residents for playdates, swimming, gardening, cooking/dining, yoga, fitness and more. Its greenbelt invites park-to-park travel, punctuated by delightful discovery points. Parkways lined with mature trees make foot, bike, trike and stroller travel easy and fun.

Interwoven parks provide a link to the adjacent Orange County Great Park. This 1,347-acre municipal park features a 194-acre state-of-the art sports complex with fields and courts for soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, tennis and other sports.

The community also adds visual architectural interest to its buildings — such as mixed wall heights, whimsical elements and vibrant palettes — for residents to enjoy as they explore the area. To learn more about the project and other 2020 Pillars Award winners, visit

Subscribe to NAHBNow

Log in or create account to subscribe to notifications of new posts.

Log in to subscribe