Best Of The Best 2006: Horse Powered
Television producer and hotelier Merv Griffin began purchasing land in La Quinta, Calif., nearly 20 years ago, eventually compiling 240 acres that he has used to raise his horses. Griffin now is dividing the property, which is adjacent to PGA West and other golf clubs in the desert resort area, into a private community for people who love the animals as much as he does. (His Thoroughbred Stevie Wonderboy won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall and was a favorite for the Kentucky Derby until the horse fractured its leg before the race.) Griffin is keeping 40 acres for himself but plans to build 283 semicustom homes (3,000 to 5,700 square feet, beginning at $800,000) and 20 custom homes (starting at $3.5 million) on the remaining land.
The homes will be divided among Andalusian, Spanish Colonial, contemporary Mexican, and Italian-farmhouse styles, so that they will display an architectural consistency without appearing identical. The 20,000-square-foot clubhouse will include at least two restaurants, a fitness center, a spa, tennis courts, and swimming pools. However, the highlight of Griffin Ranch, which is scheduled to open this summer, will be the 15 acres of equestrian facilities and barns where homeowners can ride, train, and board their horses.