14 Jun

Mitch Meyer

published on June 14, 2013 - 7:05 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Mitch Meyer, Developer
Quail Lake

Education:
I got both my B.A. in Internatioanal Relations and M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Hastings.

Age:
I’m 56.

Family:
My wife and I have a son and 2-year-old and one-month-old grandsons.

Tell me about Quail Lake and its history and your role in its development, Mitch.
Quail Lake originated in the early ‘90s when we became aware of the property and studied its features. We found that the property, about seven miles from Highway 168 off of Shaw Avenue, had access to large amounts of water from the Enterprise Canal and the deep aquifer. It also featured high-quality wetlands.


We realized that the water and the wetlands offered both environmental and design benefits. We were also attracted to the location: outside the city but still near its conveniences, and with great views of the Sierra. Our goals became to design and construct a world-class community on this unique property. We went through the environmental review and approval processes and then built the community. Our company, The Cambrian Group, is also the builder of most of the homes at Quail Lake. I have been in charge of all aspects of the planning, development and construction of the community since the earliest days.

What is the status of the development? What phase of home releases are you in, Mitch?
The community is fully developed and includes a clubhouse, which won an award from the National Association of Homebuilders for “Best Clubhouse in the United States.” We are also very proud of the excellent condition of our landscaping and 57-acre lake, which in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, is also a living, thriving natural ecosystem full of plants and fish. We have sold about 600 of the 707 residential lots in the community and are in the process of building out the final homes now. We have held back some of the best lots in the community until now, so there are a wide variety of lots remaining.

Also tell me about the development’s eco-friendly features, such as its water reclamation system, water recharge facility and wetland preservation program.
The community was designed and approved as an “environmental” community, so this is a very central aspect of Quail Lake. We have our own on-site reclaimed water facility that processes the domestic water from the homes so it can be reused to irrigate the common areas, such as parks and landscape buffers. We also built a groundwater recharge facility in Redbank Creek, which runs through the community. By filling the creek with canal water in the spring, we add water to the underground aquifer, which benefits the whole region. The community contains some of the highest quality, and most important wetlands in the Valley. In fact, we are home to two federally- and state-listed endangered plant species. Quail Lake preserves more than 50 acres of wetlands in perpetuity and makes sure that they are left alone to exist as they have for many centuries. Homeowners can walk along a nature trail at the edge of the wetlands and watch them change throughout the year.

What makes your job and this development special? What do you like most about what you do, Mitch?
I greatly appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to plan something from scratch that has actually come to fruition. I remember the first draft of our community plan: it was literally drawn on the back of an envelope. And here we are today with 600 families living at Quail Lake. My favorite part of the work was designing the Quail Lake community and the houses. I’ve had the privilege and good fortune of working with a great team of architects, consultants and staff at the site. What makes Quail Lake special is that it feels like you’re surrounded by nature even though you are sharing the community with quite a few neighbors. That’s because half of the community is open space, and then there’s the mountains. The high quality of the homes really adds to the community as well.

What is your key business strategy, Mitch?
To strive to combine top quality design with affordable pricing for the market.

What was the best business advice you received, Mitch?
When evaluating a business situation or opportunity, pay more attention to the downside than the upside. If you can survive a pretty bad downside scenario, and there’s a good upside, then it’s probably a good opportunity for you. If not, it’s better to stay away.

What was your first job, Mitch?
I worked at a bookstore while I was in high school. I learned that it was a lot easier to sell when the market was good, like during the Christmas rush, but it took a lot more skill when it wasn’t.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have hobbies? What kind of entertainment do you enjoy, Mitch?
I like both the outdoors and indoors and enjoy hiking, traveling, watching movies, and reading.

How do you give back to the community you serve?
I’ve always been involved in supporting charitable organizations, such as food banks.  I’m particularly active with improving the quality of life for the elderly living in senior facilities.

Tell me about Quail Lake and its history and your role in its development.
Quail Lake originated in the early ‘90s when we became aware of the property and studied its features. We found that the property, about seven miles from Highway 168 off of Shaw Avenue, had access to large amounts of water from the Enterprise Canal and the deep aquifer. It also featured high-quality wetlands. We realized that the water and the wetlands offered both environmental and design benefits. We were also attracted to the location: outside the city but still near its conveniences, and with great views of the Sierra. Our goals became to design and construct a world-class community on this unique property. We went through the environmental review and approval processes and then built the community. Our company, The Cambrian Group, is also the builder of most of the homes at Quail Lake. I have been in charge of all aspects of the planning, development and construction of the community since the earliest days.

What is the status of the development? What phase of home releases are you in, Mitch?
The community is fully developed and includes a clubhouse, which won an award from the National Association of Homebuilders for “Best Clubhouse in the United States.” We are also very proud of the excellent condition of our landscaping and 57-acre lake, which in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, is also a living, thriving natural ecosystem full of plants and fish. We have sold about 600 of the 707 residential lots in the community and are in the process of building out the final homes now. We have held back some of the best lots in the community until now, so there are a wide variety of lots remaining.

Also tell me about the development’s eco-friendly features, such as its water reclamation system, water recharge facility and wetland preservation program.
The community was designed and approved as an “environmental” community, so this is a very central aspect of Quail Lake. We have our own on-site reclaimed water facility that processes the domestic water from the homes so it can be reused to irrigate the common areas, such as parks and landscape buffers. We also built a groundwater recharge facility in Redbank Creek, which runs through the community. By filling the creek with canal water in the spring, we add water to the underground aquifer, which benefits the whole region. The community contains some of the highest quality, and most important wetlands in the Valley. In fact, we are home to two federally- and state-listed endangered plant species. Quail Lake preserves more than 50 acres of wetlands in perpetuity and makes sure that they are left alone to exist as they have for many centuries. Homeowners can walk along a nature trail at the edge of the wetlands and watch them change throughout the year.

What makes your job and this development special? What do you like most about what you do, Mitch?
I greatly appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to plan something from scratch that has actually come to fruition. I remember the first draft of our community plan: it was literally drawn on the back of an envelope. And here we are today with 600 families living at Quail Lake. My favorite part of the work was designing the Quail Lake community and the houses. I’ve had the privilege and good fortune of working with a great team of architects, consultants and staff at the site. What makes Quail Lake special is that it feels like you’re surrounded by nature even though you are sharing the community with quite a few neighbors. That’s because half of the community is open space, and then there’s the mountains. The high quality of the homes really adds to the community as well.

What is your key business strategy, Mitch?
To strive to combine top quality design with affordable pricing for the market.

What was the best business advice you received, Mitch?
When evaluating a business situation or opportunity, pay more attention to the downside than the upside. If you can survive a pretty bad downside scenario, and there’s a good upside, then it’s probably a good opportunity for you. If not, it’s better to stay away.

What was your first job, Mitch?
I worked at a bookstore while I was in high school. I learned that it was a lot easier to sell when the market was good, like during the Christmas rush, but it took a lot more skill when it wasn’t.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have hobbies? What kind of entertainment do you enjoy?
I like both the outdoors and indoors and enjoy hiking, traveling, watching movies, and reading.

How do you give back to the community you serve, Mitch?
I’ve always been involved in supporting charitable organizations, such as food banks.  I’m particularly active with improving the quality of life for the elderly living in senior facilities.

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