As someone who has developed and built homes, The Agency’s Craig Knizek marvels at the fortitude and skill of those who not only have what it takes to navigate the difficult process to subdivide property, but to then create something truly beautiful and beneficial to the community.

Craig is an admirer of renowned designer and builder Evan Gaskin, whose current masterpieces include the breathtaking 16003 Valley Vista Boulevard in Encino and the recently sold 9361 Saint Ives Drive. Both properties, among others he has built, set the bar in the city for exemplary architecture.

Craig has been privileged to represent him on a number of other projects and caught up with him to discuss the challenges and successes of Evan's new project: the private Harper Way in the prime area of Encino Flats.

Evan, you bought this property back in 2013. What did you envision at that time and has your vision changed?

When you brought me this property with this modest older ranch stuck in the middle of all this land, surrounded by trees, I knew I wanted to create a new community, much like the type of street I grew up on, where kids can safely roam and parents can get to know their neighbors and share their lives. That idyllic image kept me going through all the filings, hearings, and bumps in the road.

You’ve been at the vanguard of style and design over the years. What are you planning for these three new homes?

I’m maintaining a focus on keeping these homes “livable.” I want them to feel warm and homey. They’ll have some cutting-edge design elements, but the emphasis will be on families living together, sharing their lives with their friends and neighbors.

What makes this project different from ones you’ve done in the past?

The unity of the houses with the surrounding area. This is the first time I’ve created a community. I love that tucked away off Hayvenhurst—which is the heartbeat of Encino—around the corner from Gelson’s and the Michael Jackson compound, is this hidden oasis that most people never knew existed. For the lucky families and their friends who come to visit, you’ll pull up a long private driveway to a secure gate, and then enter this Shangri-La. There’s a permanent greenbelt park-like that all the neighbors get to enjoy. The lot sizes are all flat and usable. Plus, you can literally walk to the coveted Lanai Elementary school. It’s going to be an ideal location.

To learn more about Harper Way, take a look at the video below and stay tuned for more conversation with Evan as the construction progresses.