Long term Rogue Valley resident, entrepreneur and developer Laz Ayala is the creative force behind two new housing developments happening in Ashland, Ridgeview Place and Meadowbrook Park. Ridgeview Place at 31 North Mountain Street is comprised of 12 contemporary town homes and located just steps from the railroad district, schools and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Homes range from 1100 to 1300 square feet with 2-3 bedrooms, garages and quality finishes throughout.
Meadowbrook Park is the second development located along North Mountain and Fair Oaks Drive offering single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums. A neighborhood commercial square will complete the project in 2015/2016. We met with Laz to learn more about his history of developing in Southern Oregon and to learn more about the Ridgeview place project being developed here in Ashland.
Laz, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I was born in El Salvador and immigrated into the United States at the age of 14 with my family to escape from El Salvador’s civil war of the 1980s. I have since lived in Southern Oregon most of my life where I began my real estate career as broker in 1988.
I’ve always loved Ashland and knew someday I would live here. I used to drive here from Central Point to play soccer, sometimes 2-3 times a week. I met some good friends on the soccer fields of Ashland with whom I still kick the ball around today.
My wife, Carlie, and I moved to Ashland two years ago, but Carlie’s roots in Ashland go generations back to her great-grandmother Ann Reese and her “O’pa” Darryl Meierhoff, who is a long time Ashland Builder (now retired). I never imagined that I would have two sons who are now considered 5th generation Ashlanders and now developing real estate here. In many ways it is very special for my family.
Yes, during the housing boom I developed Greenmoore Estates, Whistling Hollow, and Barton Hills Estates in Eagle Point totaling over 100 homes. I have also worked on historic building renovations including the Central Fire Hall and the Acme Building in Medford. Most recently I’ve been involved with the completion of The Farms of Jacksonville, Meadowbrook Park at North Mountain, and Ridgeview Place here in Ashland.
Wow Laz, you’ve covered some serious ground over the past years. How did you do this?
I am fortunate to have great team of professionals that I can rely on for their expertise. I can conceptualize and analyze the economics of a project, however there is so much more to it in terms of land use planning, design, engineering, and construction. This is where having a reliable team has been invaluable to my business.
There are a number of professionals I work with in the course of developing a project; however there are two individuals in particular that deserve recognition for their expertise, professionalism, and community interest: Mark Knox (land use planner) and Dave DeCarlow (builder). They are both extremely dedicated and passionate about what they do. Their commitment and dedication to our community has been an integral part of our projects. Our subcontractors and consultants are also extremely valuable; their specialized skills complete the team. It truly is a group effort.
Laz, you have been very involved in several community organizations as well as providing a few scholarships for individuals at SOU. Please say more about this.
Southern Oregon has been very good to me. I firmly believe in giving back to the community and being an active community partner. There are so many important organizations here in Southern Oregon that impact lives on a daily basis. I am proud to be a supporter of organizations such as Kids Unlimited, Habitat for Humanity, Family Nurturing Center, La Clinica, and the YMCA. I’m a proponent of removing economic barriers to education and empowering students of lower means. On that note, last year Carlie and I established a scholarship program at SOU to assist first generation college students. We feel honored to be community partners.
There is a need for entry level housing in Ashland. It has been my goal to cater to that sector without compromising quality, livability, or sustainability. Ridgeview will have a sense of place/neighborhood from the moment you drive up to the project. The architecture is contemporary with 32 inch roof eaves, clerestory windows, custom concrete work and professionally design landscaping by Laurie Sager. The interior will have granite counter tops, bamboo floors; low VOC paint and energy start appliances / fixtures. There will be electric vehicle charging outlets in garages and in the guest parking area.
How different is the Ridgeview project versus Meadowbrook?
Ridgeview is an urban setting and within the heart of Ashland where Meadowbrook is not as dense and it’s more of residential neighborhood in itself. Ridgeview has a relatively high walking score with many amenities nearby, including the university, various services and Downtown. Meadowbrook will eventually have a few services too within easy walking distance by this time next year, specifically a coffee shop and a small convenience store.
Both Ridgeview and Meadowbrook are listed with Teresa McCants at Ashland Homes Real Estate, 541-261-3705. More information about the projects can also be obtained at www.ridgeview-place.com and www.meadowbrook-park.com.
Is there still time for customization on some of the units?
Yes, we are just starting framing, so there is still time for changes to the layout and there is certainly time to customize finishes.
Laz thanks for doing the work you have done in our community. Do you have any last words or comments you might like to share with our readers?
We are all excited about the projects. I believe they align very well with the City’s goals and philosophy’s. I would also like to thank the various departments at the City, particularly Planning, Building and Public Works. They have all been great to work with.
Ashland Homes Real Estate
Teresa McCants 541-261-3705