Spinnaker Development’s business model has evolved from designing and building high-end home renovations during the height of the recession in 2009 to building and developing multimillion-dollar, turnkey custom homes today.
The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company is a boutique residential design/build firm that provides architectural, interior design and general contracting services for new construction projects. Its luxury, custom-built homes range in price from $3 million to $20 million, depending on location. “We try to bring the total package as a team,” owner Mike Close says. “We strive to provide the ultimate level of comfort for our clients by streamlining the approach and process of the project. The proper execution of the pre-construction process is critical to an efficient design/build.”
Spinnaker Development has worked exclusively under a design/build platform with Brandon Architects, based in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Newport Beach’s Details A Design Firm to complete all of its custom home projects. “If a client takes a liking to our portfolio, they quickly realize most of these projects were delivered with that team intact,” Close explains. “Those projects are executed with the same architect, designer and builder who are members of the design/build team. We provide an all-inclusive package that saves the client time from finding individual firms and hoping they come together smoothly with limited or no prior working experience. ”
Built to Suit
When building a custom home, Spinnaker Development takes the time to talk with its clients and find out where they spend most of their time and design from the inside out. “Our approach and goal at the onset of the projects is to identify an individuals or family’s lifestyle and cater a program to best suit this way of life,” Close says. “For years, many homeowners would get carried away with extremely particular amenities, design elements or cater a floor plan or design for their immediate use. Significant consideration is now given to the flexibility aspect of the home. Our clients rely heavily on our input with our experience as a speculative homebuilder and developer.”
One of the biggest trends today is the indoor/outdoor concept where the home’s exterior is perceived as an extension of the interiors and vice versa. Spinnaker Development’s clients desire to have a cohesive feel in and out, and this has a huge impact on the overall program. Because of this, they are incorporating landscape architects earlier in the process, which Close says used to be somewhat of an afterthought.
Neutral color palettes have also become increasingly popular with homeowners keeping resale in mind. “Keeping things neutral so they can plug and play different design styles and palettes is key because they don’t want to marry themselves to a certain look or current trend,” Close adds.
Leading in Service
To set itself apart in the industry, Spinnaker Development focuses on going above and beyond for its clients. For Spinnaker Development, providing a turnkey home often means stocking pantries, bringing client’s personal items into the home and hiring a chef for their first night. “We do everything and anything that we can so our clients can say we didn’t miss one thing,” Close says. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to transact at record sales marks throughout the respective communities in which we develop.”
Spinnaker Development also offers a concierge program where it performs routine maintenance on the homes it has built, which is often welcomed by its clients who have built vacation homes. The company will change air filters, light bulbs, clean gutters, perform routine systems checks and repairs, and even make dinner reservations and arrange travel. “We are not building at a high volume so we have the ability to service our clients on an extremely personal level,” Close explains. “We want our homes in 10, 15 or 20 years to look as good as they did when we built them.”
To keep its clients up-to-date with the building process, Spinnaker Development offers a cloud-based software program that allows the homeowner to interact with the project remotely. “It eliminates the need for daily site visits, extraordinary amounts of paperwork and gives them access to everything and anything,” Close says. “We try to take a painless approach to the design/build process.”
In the future, Close plans to focus on larger landmark properties so the architecture of his homes can gain added exposure. One thing that will remain consistent with Spinnaker Development is in its design/build approach where working within the team dynamic is such a game changer for custom homebuilding.
“People have horror stories about their design/build process and our approach is that it shouldn’t be that way; it should be fun,” Close explains. “This is typically the single largest investment we make, why invest that time and money in an arduous process? We’re extremely passionate about what we do and understand that same passion exists within our clients. Collaborating with our clients to craft their vision of the dream home is as good as it gets.”