Palm Springs-based KUD Properties has big plans for the designs of Joseph Eichler, the California developer whose mid-century modern tract homes are so sought-after that there exist entire sites devoted to tracking which ones are for sale. Not only does KUD, which specializes in "preserving and enhancing" mid-century modern homes, plan on building brand new Eichlers based on the Ace of the A-frame's original designs, but they want to bring them to Palm Springs, where no Eichler has gone before.
Although Eichler built over 11,000 homes in nine communities in Northern California and three in Southern California from 1950 to 1974, none were ever built in Palm Springs. According to My Desert, KUD principal Troy Kudlac says he has an agreement with a Menlo Park realty company to use original plans licensed from the UC Berkeley Environmental Design Archives to build new ones. There's a groundbreaking in the offing, pending approval on building plans, and if the first home sells, the company will consider building more, with the possibility of "a whole neighborhood of homes."
Is a new Eichler still an Eichler? The jury's still out on that one. On the one hand, the man built a pretty impersonal number of homes, so maybe form, if done right, matters more than provenance. But the cult of Eichler is strong enough that some will inevitably cry foul. Given the rising popularity of modernism in Palm Springs, a new one should sell regardless.