Investment Concepts, Inc., one of the most prolific apartment developers in the Victor Valley, on Tuesday celebrated the grand opening of The Villas at Hesperia.


The Villas, which is located on C Avenue near Muscatel, features 154 attached family homes in a gated community setting.


The Orange-based Investment Concepts has seven apartment complexes in Hesperia with a total of 630 units. Throughout Southern California, the company has a total of 55 projects in Southern California, which represent $500 million invested, according to Mayor Thurston "Smitty" Smith.


"That's a huge portfolio," Smith said during Tuesday's grand opening event.


Investment Concepts president George A. Chami noted that when the company began developing projects in Hesperia, the city's population was 45,000. Today it has grown to 92,000.


"Hesperia has had a phenomenal growth," said Chami, who founded the company in 1969.


Chami anticipates additional apartment units and another shopping center the company developed Hickory Tree Plaza when the economy turns around. Investment Concepts has a total of 1,832 units in Hesperia and Victorville.


Monetarily, the company has $63 million invested in Hesperia with $10 million "out of pocket," he added.


The city's Redevelopment Agency contributed about $2 million to the project, which cost a total of $23 million, according to Deputy Economic Development Director Steve Lantsberger.


"It's a great investment in our city," Lantsberger said.


The Redevelopment Agency became involved with the project when Investment Concepts agreed to make 20 percent of the homes restricted to affordability units. As a result, The Villas is the first such blended market value/affordable project in the city, he said.


"That why we're involved in that blended deal," according to Lantsberger.


The Villas features a resort-style pool and spa, 24-hour fitness room, computer center and clubhouse. Each unit has built-in stainless steel appliances and two compartment sink with disposal in the kitchen, two-car garages with washer and dryer hookups, telephone, Dish TV and FIOS ready, vaulted ceilings in the living rooms and full baths with oval tub and shower in the master bathrooms.


"I want to thank Steve Lantsberger for making this project come to fruition," Smith said. "We look forward to more projects like this."