What's Behind the Hills, Gates? A New Centex Neighborhood

Looking north from the new access road off Holland Road, one can see the growing development in ...

Looking north from the new access road off Holland Road, one can see the growing development in The Lakes complex, built by Centex Homes.
If you've driven along Holland Road east of Menifee Road lately, you may have seen some activity in what has been a deserted lot for quite some time. In fact, the only item of interest in recent years has been the restroom facility we featured in a recent "Menifee in Pictures," asking what its purpose was.

Now we have the answer. A few days ago, when they paved an access road northbound into the hilly area from Holland Road, we wandered though an open gate in and soon found ourselves over the crest of the hill, where new roads led us all the way to The Lakes complex of Centex Homes, a gated community east of Menifee Road and south of Newport Road.

As we discovered after a visit to Centex Homes' "Summerhouse at The Lakes" real estate office, a resurgence in the housing market has resulted in a new phase of Centex Homes that ultimately will stretch the development from Newport all the way south to Holland. The development will eventually include more than 900 homes, but there will still be some open space behind those hills.

For now, the new road off Holland Road simply gives construction crews access to the back part of the property, where building is taking place. However, that 17-acre parcel of land is designated as a sports park that will include multiple ball fields, basketball courts and playgrounds.

According to Dean Wetter, general manager of Valley-Wide Recreation, the restroom facility is a prefabricated structure that was placed there when the development first opened. It has sat alone during the lull in housing construction, but now it appears more likely that it will one day be in the center of a large sports park complex.

The Lakes development is a gated community, but during the latest sales push, the front gate on Laguna Vista Drive is open to visitors during business hours. Wetter said there is no timetable for completion of the park, but the plan is for the developer to build the park and turn it over to Valley-wide. The park section of the development would be open to the public via Holland Road. Many of the unfinished homes have already been sold.

Visitors are asked to enter through the main gate rather than the back construction entrance.