Martha Stewart unveils 'active adult' community

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American home-style icon Martha Stewart visited the Coachella Valley on Sunday, launching her company’s “active adult” home community in La Quinta.

 Some 100 people, including La Quinta Mayor Don Adolph and Councilwoman Terry Henderson, attended a windy La Quinta Resort & Club luncheon to greet Stewart.

The business mogul announced she has partnered with Los Angeles-based developer KB Home to build the 320-home community for adults age 55 and older.

Construction is set to begin in spring 2009, said Steve Ruffner, president of KB Home’s Southern California division.

Stewart will be involved at every stage, he added. It marks Stewart’s 10th partnership with KB Home.

“We’ve been together for quite a while designing homes, designing interiors, designing gardens,” Stewart said after the luncheon.

The development will include a dog park, and the homes will feature furnishings from her company’s interior design collection, she added.

The homes are “really good. That’s the most important thing to me in a home is that it’s well-designed, cleverly appointed, sturdy and efficient,” Stewart said.

She told the La Quinta crowd she “saw some gardens (she) would love to emulate” on the drive from Palm Springs International Airport. “They’re very beautiful.”

She also liked the La Quinta resort’s citrus trees and told the crowd she enjoys making vodka cocktails with kumquats because of their “really delicious flavor.”

Stewart also judged a cupcake-decorating contest at the luncheon and gave each of the top three winners a gift basket and autographed copy of her latest book, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School.”

Ruffner said the homes would be priced in the $300,000s. “I think it’s going to be exciting, and I don’t think it’s going to be as tied to the (sluggish) economy as you might think.”

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