Our projects run the gamut from high-end travel and leisure destinations to urban civic institutions. With experience in Asia, Europe, Central America, and the US, Xsense understands and can help you capitalize on the unique culture subtleties of your particular locale.

Avila Tank Farm

Set dramatically above Avila Beach on the Central Coast of California, this 95-acre brownfield was a former petroleum storage facility from 1906 through the 1990’s. Owned by a major oil company, the site is now in a re-entitlement process with key stakeholders, including the local Avila community and the Chumash people. The goal is to develop a project that is unique, economically feasible, innovative and sustainable while engaging in a transparent process with the indigenous people of San Luis Obispo and the broader Avila community. Xsense’s role was to find and then connect the project team to the Chumash descendants of this Avila Beach site. Our goal was to integrate the Native American group into the design process in a meaningful way while respecting the Chumash protocol. This project is about revealing deep values from the indigenous people of this land and translating them into modern development today.

Developer: Undetermined
Authentic Place Consultants: Xsense authentic places, San Luis Obispo, CA
Land Planning: Hart Howerton, San Francisco, CA
Engineering: RRM Design Group, San Luis Obispo, CA

Amana Colonies

This community audit was initiated when this historic religious community was facing decisions involving new markets and modern resort development. The historic roots and values of this unique society are strongly anchored in the past, but were eager to embrace the future in a thoughtful and sustainable way. Xsense audited the current Amana experience from an authenticity perspective and asked ourselves: how do today’s hospitality, retail, art, food and entertainment experiences connect to the society’s core values? How are they authentic and how are they not? What are the alternatives? How can the Amana Society empower themselves to make such decisions autonomously? Concepts of an Amana Institute were presented, as well as new and connected hospitality, culinary and retail concepts. Proposals for community involvement are on the drawing board.

Client: Amana Society

Punta Lobos, Baja Mexico

This legendary oasis on the Baja peninsula was originally a sugar cane plantation rich with family history. Future plans for the site draw from deep family roots reaching back to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Great Britain and of course, Todos Santos. With its colorful people and unparalleled Mexican zest for life it’s easy to fall in love with Todos Santos. This 1,800 acre site (part of 50,000 acres owned by the Santa Ana family since 1803) will feature 36 holes of golf, boutique hotels, marina, spas, recreation and residential programs, but also connect to the community of Todos Santos and its people. The Santa Ana Family has balanced commercial concerns with environmental stewardship in this wondrous corner of Baja California Sur for more than 150 years – from the sugar cane boom of the 19th century, through the pioneering of organic farming in the 1930’s, to the vibrant cultural center it is today. The development ideas uniquely tailored to the Santa Ana Family spirit will surprise and delight.

Developer: Punta Lobos Inmobilaria
Authentic Place Consultants: Xsense, San Luis Obispo, CA
Land Planning: EDSA, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Golf: Ochoa Hills Golf Course Architects, Guadalajara, Mexico

Smuggler’s Run Plantation, Belize

In 1799, an adventurous English sea merchant landed in the small ex-buccaneer- turned-logger colony of British Honduras, fell in love with a native girl, and embraced the charmingly relaxed lifestyle of what later became Belize, – as did many other Scottish men who followed in his footsteps. Just north of Belize City, Smuggler’s Run Plantation harks back to that era of Colonial Belize, with large British Colonial-style estates, rainforest adventure tours, and even a Scottish-style golf course. The combination of Scottish heritage and Mayan roots blend intriguingly together, making Smuggler’s Run Plantation a dream destination only possible in Belize.

Developer: Private
Authentic Place Consultants: Xsense, San Luis Obispo, CA
Landscape Architect: EDSA, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Golf: Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates, Toledo, OH
Architect: EDSA, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Playa Dominical, Costa Rica

The sleepy little Pacific Coast beach town of Dominical in Costa Rica is known for some of the best surfing in the world. This development plans to retain this small-town ambiance, add a strongly sustainable ‘green’ infrastructure, and give the resulting development a taste of the uniquely local ‘barefoot elegance’ which the Costa Rican ‘Tico’ culture personifies. With playful art and architecture that comes to life during the rainy season, tree house dwellings, and sustainably designed homes, this is a village community that welcomes guests and residents into the living experience of a widely diverse beach-side community.

Developer: Private
Hospitality: Harmony Projects
Authentic Place Consultants: Xsense, San Luis Obispo, CA
Master Planner & Sustainability Advisor: The Michael Neuman Consultancy, College Station, TX
Landscape Architect: EDAW, San Francisco, CA

Macatawa Legends, Michigan

It’s all about Gezelligheid in Holland, Michigan, not windmills! This Dutch feeling of comfort and harmony fills every nook and cranny. Nestled just outside of the Dutch-founded town of Holland Michigan, Macatawa Legends will take Gezelligheid to the 5-star level. Gezelligheid, you ask? Heh-Zell-Ik as it is pronounced, is an untranslatable Dutch world uttered when the Dutch feel they are experiencing a perfect moment they would like to have last forever: when everything is just right and feels as though you’ve snuggled into a warm, cozy blanket, cozened by good food, great conversation, and the right mood at the perfect time. At Macatawa Legends, every day is a Gezelligheid day!

Developers: Hyatt Hawthorn Suites Golf Resorts, Avila Beach, CA
Authentic Place Consultants: Xsense, San Luis Obispo, CA
Landscape Architecture: Macatawa Landscape, Holland, MI
Architecture: Integrated Architecture, Grand Rapids, MI
Residential Architecture: Lamar Construction, Holland, MI, among others

Mountain House

Mountain House may seem like an unlikely name for this community nearby Tracy, California, but as researched revealed the name connects back to the original Mountain House, a stage coach stop 4 miles into the mountains – and it still exists today! Mountain House was owned and managed by Simon and Mary-Ann Zimmerman, a Prussian who favored the wind and loved to laugh, and his Irish wife who adored her Waterford crystal. Mountain House changed and adapted with the times, but its most remarkable incarnation was probably its original structure- a blue denim tent. As an authentic American symbol, unpretentious, honest, hardworking, but also playful, blue denim and indigo, the color of inspiration, became the core inspiration for the conceptualization and design of this wellness-oriented pan-ethnic community.

Developer: Trilogy Shea Homes, Scottsdale, AZ
Authentic Place Consultants: Xsense, San Luis Obispo, CA
Civil Engineer: Carlson, Barbee & Gibson, Inc., San Ramon, CA
Landscape Architect & Architect- DTJ Design, Boulder, CO
Interior Design: Design Lines, Denver, CO
Residential Architecture: Bassenian Lagoni Architects, Newport Beach, CA

Trilogy Central Coast

Captain William Dana’s adobe was once known as the most hospitable place in California. His life filled with travel, adventure and style provided great inspiration for this unique resort-style community which is part of Dana’s original 37,997 acre Rancho. Later the area became a monarch butterfly habitat because of a eucalyptus tree plantation that inspired the name for the Monarch Club. Surrounded by seasonal butterfly flocks the community enjoys some of the most elegant hospitality on the Central Coast, featuring Adelina’s restaurant and market that was named after Captain Dana’s beloved daughter, the Sandalwood Spa named after the imported sandalwood that the Dana Rancho was famous for, and an unparalleled events center – truly in line with the festivities of the original Dana adobe.

Developer: Trilogy Shea Homes, Scottsdale, AZ
Authentic Place Consultants: Xsense, San Luis Obispo, CA
Landscape Architect: Wallace Group, San Luis Obispo, CA
Architect: Williams + Paddon, Sacramento, CA
Residential Architecture: Bassenian Lagoni Architects, Newport Beach, CA