Low-Cost Prefabs Land in Santa Monica

Several years ago, the City of Santa Monica bought Mountain View Mobile Home Park in order to preserve it for affordable housing.  The city upgraded the infrastructure and recently sent out an RFP to replace 20 travel trailers and mobile homes with more energy-efficient, safe, contemporary, manufactured homes.  Santa Monica eventually awarded the contract to Golden West Homes in partnership with Marmol Radziner Prefab.

Over the last few years, Marmol Radziner Prefab has moved from expensive to approachable such as with Rincon and Locomo.  MRP CEO Todd Jerry told the LA Times, “Combining prefab at an affordable price point and doing it with green features, in our opinion, is the ultimate application of prefab.

These 20 manufactured homes cost about $705,000 total with add-ons running another $713,000.  Homes range in size from 384 to 1,200 square feet and in individual price from $25,000 to $72,000.

Add-ons include solar photovoltaics, solar hot water, tankless water heating, green screens, SolaTubes, and outdoor decks.

The new units have been designed by Marmol Radziner Prefab and built by Golden West Homes, a Clayton Homes company helping on this project and also behind the i-House endeavor.  The first home was installed about 10 days ago and the rest will be installed throughout March.  Santa Monica allocated up to $3,000,000 to the replacements.

Credits: Marmol Radziner.

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  • Anonymous

    $700k for 1,000 sf prefab!?! WTF. That is insanely expensive. These companies have got to learn that you cannot price gouge people and expect your product to sell. There is absolutely no reason for a prefab 384-1,200 sf house should cost anywhere near that price other than that someone is trying to get rich. Now, that being said, this statement “Homes range in size from 384 to 1,200 square feet and in individual price from $25,000 to $72,000.” doesn’t make sense to me. What gives?

    • Mikemeade

      Is it possible that the total price for all 20 units was 700K? That would put the average well between the 25K to 72K individual price tag for each unit. I’ll agree though, they way this is written is confusing.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      I’ll clean it up to make this more clear. Without add-ons, site work, etc, the 20 prefabs alone were budgeted to cost a total of $700k.

      • Ucladancema

        At first read it does seem like 700per, but I re read and saw the 25k to 75k so figured it out. Are they still for sale ? I would be interested.


  • Jonboydarch

    Not sure if this has been edited already but the third paragraph is pretty clear. Read before reacting I like to say. “These 20 manufactured homes cost about $705,000 total with add-ons running another $713,000. Homes range in size from 384 to 1,200 square feet and in individual price from $25,000 to $72,000.”

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Thanks, jonboydarch, instead of “These manufactured homes,” I added “These 20 manufactured homes” for clarity.

  • Tkhowie

    the artist conception looks a hell of a lot better than the mobile homes that were built- But, what can you expect from Clayton, they are a low end mobile home builder.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Pictures don’t show site work, but otherwise, how is the rendering “a lot better?” And since when is Clayton a low-end mobile home builder? As compared to which companies and products?

  • JasonCCarpenter

    I always thought this would be a wonderful park for small prefabs. I thought it was a good thing when I heard Santa Monica was upgrading the park. It looks like MRPreFab is doing a swell job of transforming the place. It’s very cool that the park gets a new lease on life in it’s new, green, low impact form.

  • DrKnifemouth

    Almost 400sf in Santa Monica?! Perfection! I’d give my left leg (SUV squashed, so no huge trade) for that dream to come true. The ’30 yr mortgage’ is as outdated as the economy we had/the jobs we had 3-4 decades ago.
    I very strongly desire to go small, to not have empty rambling space echoing around me, it is not merely a yearning that springs from a place of being limited/poor. That smallness is my comfort, my sense of warmth. The more the fine fellows of Marmol Radziner focus on small, to make small cost-friendly, to take away the unnecessary luxury like master sculptors carving away what we do not need (no Viking Stoves as seen in the Katz L41 homes, just two low energy hobs like Rintala’s Boxhome- add an energy star micro-convection oven down the road if needed) and as strong reliable companies like M-R (the more the better) back such communities, such homes? Then maybe we’ll see the walls of resistance crack ahead of us, that hold us back: the banks that won’t loan, the cities and towns that resist small lot buildings ordinance- more affordable places than elsewhere LA (Silverlake/Maltman, Auburn 7 are great for ‘richer’ folks who love small) -or Portland’s 100thou smalls, Seattle, Reno’s HabaRae- grateful to them all, but all told, $25,000 will not be the cost for a home in these geographies.
    I don’t understand the people who bash Clayton: yes it is an MH builder, but by no means low end. Unless someone considers all MH (mobile homes) low-end, then of course they would denigrate Clayton. Would they also look down on Casuto’s due to Lowe’s connect? Come on… I’d love nothing more than for there to be abundant small home villages just as there are trailer parks.
    Perhaps obviously, I would be just as happy if the laws of the land allowed for someone who owned 100 acres to be legally able to erect the same small home; shockingly illegal. It’s my very strong beliefs of Freedom vs. that slow change in American law brought about by various lobbying groups in the building and construction areas that fit nicely with the bloated American roar of ‘More’ -always bigger, better, faster and more. The times we are living in, my hopes in Marmol Radziner’s pre-fab & their work- is slightly overshadowed by sadness with scarcity of units, with the shifts in politics, economy and Supreme Court cases: NOT exactly trumpeting the little guy these days. Freedom ain’t what I thought it was. Plus:
    I’m one of the weirdos who actually like LA, I’d prefer a pre-fab, mobile home there to a fancy SF Pacific Heights apartment. Any. Day.

    • MsD

      Ran across your email while checking a variety of interesting “new” possibilities ranging from Smithsonian Folkways site (both comforting and inspiring) to Low-cost Prefabs in Santa Monica and your writing really really rang true to me.
      My husband and I lived in the LA area for over 30 years and for the most part we loved it. But 11 years ago we cashed in our paltry estate and headed to the desert and a much simpler life for us. Do we still miss Calif, the ocean breezes, the fantastic weather and the wonderful goulash of humanity L.A. always offered us, YES! But in the place of the STRESS, we unknowingly often experienced just to survive our place on the low to middle rung of that societal ladder. we now have a different but very, very precious commodity called TIME. TIME to really be together after 40 years into this thing called marriage, TIME to continue to grow as individuals, TIME to appreciate all the very simplest things around us that Mother Nature manages to bring forth even in these sparcest of environs. TIME to appreciate just being alive. So I guess bottom line, for us, our decision to move away from the grinds of living in LA to this much simpler lifestyle is working for the two of us, both as a couple and as individuals. We now worry less about all material objects such as the size of the home we live in, the clothes we wear or the gadgets we own. We sold our 3/2 in Calif near SM and now we live in a modest sized modular home which is paid for and yet our more modest lifestyle provides everything our hearts desire and then some.
      So I guess what inspired me to write this was my true identification with your own wisdom in appreciating your own so called “modest” SM prefab home and I cannot say loud enough BRAVO for spreading that word. I was glad to read the writing of someone else living their lives in REALITY rather than in the corporate sponsored materialist rat race.
      Normally, I do not email strangers but you inspired me to do so. Your writing reminded me of something my Momma once told me a long time ago and I have now matured into understanding better. “Don’t forget to take time in your life to smell the Roses”.

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