I was going through some old newspapers when I found an article about Sun City, California. The article was dated October 23, 1969, and appeared in the LaVerne Leader.
It goes into detail about Del Webb's innovative new sales technique that eliminated the traditional practice of building a set of model homes apart from the rest of the homes. Instead, they scattered their models throughout the community, and allowed people to buy them on the spot. This way potential buyers could see the models at various places around the community, and get a better idea of what the environments looked like.
The article also goes on to discuss the Sun City Shopping Center, and throws out numbers and figures. Good stuff for history buffs.
I transcribed the entire article below. Of course, the article is still under copyright protection, but being so old, I hope the folks at LaVerne Leader won't mind...
SUN CITY - They call this Del E. Webb Corporation resort retirement community Sun City for a reason.
Here, is the tranquil Menifee Valley in Riverside County, the smogless and blue skies have contributed more to the economic and demographic growth than anything, officials say.
Sun City's location 25 miles south of Riverside on U.S 395 is sun-drenched most of the year, and because of the climate and population increase has been somewhat surprising to Del E. Webb Corp. Sun City executives.
It has been the catalyst that has forced the Del E. Webb Corp to initiate a building program that calls for both commercial and housing expansion at Sun City, now with 6,400 population.
The company will construct immediately $1 million in new homes and add $800,000 in commercial construction to the $1.6 million Sun City shopping center, reports Joe Aubin, Project Manager.
Aubin said Sun City has launched a different sales approach to its model home complex, and it has already responsible for the sale of $500,000 in new dwellings.
Heretofore, he said, Sun City prided itself in the display of model homes in a special area. Now, a completely new approach to model home exhibit is being achieved.
Aubin said the company will start its model home exhibit program with the construction of 20 models, valued at $500,000.
The models will be scattered throughout the expanding areas of Sun City, and they will be sold upon immediate demand, Aubin said.
He said this approach is in reverse of the traditional, which has been to build a model home complex and permit potential buyers to make tours of the models.
"All units will be available for immediate sale and occupancy whenever demanded", says E. Wayne Grippin, project sales manager for the Del E. Webb Corp. "We are in the position of constructing a series of new models on a continuing basis. This eliminates the model area and provides greater flexibility to people who get the opportunity to study the environment as it really is."
The homes are brand new designs, fresh from the drawing boards of Del E. Webb Corp. architects in Phoenix, Arizona. He said home sales will be directed from a new sales headquarters to be located at the Sun City entrance from U.S. 395.
Detailing Sun City's 1969 growth, Aubin said that the Sun City shopping center should gross $4 million this year, up about 10% over 1968.
Additions to the shopping center area are seven new shops and one service station. A $500,000 Safeway store is expected to start construction soon.
Other expansion moves include increasing the size of the Sun City community recreation center and the travel trailer parking area and planned additions are the Perris Masonic Lodge and County Fire Station. A U.S. Post Office was constructed recently.
Sun City already has a 7,000-ft. regulation golf course. In December, it will open another golf course, one block away. The new golf course will 3,817 yds. and par 61. "It should relieve the playing pressure on the regulation course", says Aubin. The new course cost $500,000.
Aubin reports that 254 home were sold last year at Sun City, with a real estate value of $6,350,000. He says home sales this year will approach this figure.
Besides the climate, Aubin says, one of the greatest attractions of Sun City is the community recreation center with its more than 100 clubs and activities, including swimming, shuffleboard, lawnbowling and social, hobby, travel and civic groups.
"Residents of Sun City are the cream of the nation's retired intellectuals and professionals," he says. "Your neighbor may be a former football player or actor, or he may be an economist or an archaeologist. They have come here from state in the union and from 15 foreign countries."
He says Sun City features both single-family and apartment environments. The new Sun City homes, priced $20,790 to $32,990, are designed in the manner of Contemporary, Mediterranean, and Spanish, and there is on that instills the architectual flavor of old fashioned country living.
Sun City is reaching via the San Bernardino Freeway, right at the Riverside-Corona off-ramp to U.S. 60 and then left to U.S. 395.