Thursday, March 23, 2006
Jana Bradford and Mark Wilson, now with Morgan Lane Real Estate, have landed their new agency in The Farm Center at Robinson Canyon and Carmel Valley Roads. There, a grouping of great old wooden buildings is rented individually to various businesses.
The Center’s most recent owner, Jim Valencia, a gentle, articulate man, says he deeply values the rarity and location of the area. “This whole section is so lovely and the trees so old. It’s a shame the new construction site next door chose to root them out.”
One schoolhouse-red building is rented to decor and garden shop Ancients, another to Bob Mattson for his handmade leathers studio, another to a construction company; the building right on Robinson Canyon is Morgan Lane Real Estate. The little house-like structure distinguishes itself by the presence of a large American flag, full blooming window boxes and a step-up porch reached via garden paths under a massive oak as old as the compound itself.
The precise age of the buildings brings lively discussions because few can say for sure. It’s known, however, that each one was brought there from different places long ago. Directly across Robinson Canyon Road from Morgan Lane Real Estate is a sculpture studio housed within a structure that’s verifiably the oldest building in Carmel Valley. It has been a barn, a grange, a community theater and two consecutive sculpture studios, just to mention the headliners. What neighbors the old souls must be—one wonders what their evening conversations could reveal.
Bradford and Wilson came to the Farm Center after having been agents with the Mitchell Group for many years. They liked a family-owned company and when The Mitchell Group became Sotheby’s, they decided to open an office here for Morgan Lane Real Estate, a boutique company with six offices in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Both Bradford and Wilson are thrilled with their choices and the success of their business has rewarded their efforts.
Wilson says, “We wanted somewhere we’d like to come to work every day and where people would like to come see us.” He and Bradford trade good-natured interruptions, he in a dignified timber and she with dimpled enthusiasm as they pell-mell over details. Bradford says, “We even have a little kitchen here and great organic coffees to offer!” The bathroom had been long gone but is beautifully restored. “See where the old bathtub stood?” asks Wilson. “There’s no water for one now, of course.”
It’s a single level with three rooms, un-alike in every way, and laid out in an intriguing serpentine delineation, starting with the 30-foot-by-12-foot great room. An archway then goes to a differently shaped room and around a corner a third has its own backdoor leading to the rear courtyards, fenced and pretty. All through the agency, large wavy-glass windows rest brightly within whisper green walls.
Bradford and Wilson have personal antique desks in the great room and a sumptuous leather seating arrangement at one end for guests. But the crowning touch came from Bradford’s great-grandmother. “Maybe Hungarian,” Bradford says of the magnificent wool carpet that covers most of the old oak floor. Woven with lush tropical softness, it depicts exotic birds and blossoms spaced gracefully, bordered with delicate designs.
“I just decided to try it,” Bradford says, “and it works!” As such a magic carpet should.
MORGAN LANE REAL ESTATE is on 24000 Robinson Canyon Rd., Carmel Valley. Contact Jana Bradford (915-0522) or Mark Wilson (238-5446).