Scott Cross has carved a niche for his Corona del Mar company building high-end custom homes here for nearly a decade.
But Cross is also busy carving a niche for himself in realty TV.
The homes Cross builds and the personality and passion he exudes in his work every day makes him stand out from the crowd.
In the beginning it wasn’t that simple. If you were a local Newport homeowner who happened to be spending a few million dollars or so on new or remodeled custom home, would ou trust a kid who was 22 years old to head up the work? Well, Cross and his company S.C. Homes Inc. used to get that question – but not so much these days.
The now-31-year-old Scott says he isn’t asked that much anymore because “my hair has gotten a lot grayer over the years.”. He also says people began getting over his relative youth when “I started signing the checks.”
But Scott’s energetic and personable approach did not go unnoticed in places you don’t normally associate with a homebuilder. Scott and his company took on a major project with a TV twist in 2009, teaming up with the ABC’s reality show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to build a house for a needy family in the high desert of Southern California in less than five days.
That project and the media exposure it brought led to Scott being considered for a TV reality show of his own that is in the works now with the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) TV network. If he makes the final cut, the show would be based around his custom home building adventures here in Newport Beach. Scott says the show is down to three finalists with him in Newport and others in Los Angeles.
At one of Scott’s current projects – on Bayside Drive near Balboa Island – the DiY TV Network sent a camera to tape Scott and his many partners as they worked on the remodel of a waterfront home originally built in the late 1960s.
Scott, Stan Sullins, an interior designer based in Laguna Beach, and architect Mark Gross of Irvine criss-crossed the house going over detail after detail of how the house would be rebuilt. The gutted interior was clearly in the need of being transformed into a stunning new home.
A TV camera followed their every move. On the outside of the house, they discussed how to get a stunning bayfront deck just right. Inside, Scott and his team, amid a constant flurry of worker activity, went room to room figuring out just how they would make sure the owner of the house would be another happy customer once the project was complete. Scott and the team spoke directly with the owner via telephone to go over the project and work out any special items and the costs.
When asked about why he focuses on Newport Beach so heavily, Scott says, “How do you not want to work in Newport?”
“All my subcontractors love me, they get to see this view all day long,” he added.
Scott not only builds custom homes in Newport today, but his past professional and personal life have all had a Newport Beach touch for a long time. It’s been that way for over a decade.
Each morning Scott meets with his team at the Balboa Coffee Bar across the street from the Balboa branch of the Newport Beach Library on the Peninsula. He’s been doing it for years. It’s where starts his day and goes over all over the projects his company is working on around Newport. The local coffee hangout also holds a special place with Scott, as it’s where he first met his wife,Shannon.
He liked her so much he later bought the place in 2007 before finally selling it in 2009.
Scott and Shannon also added their son, Kayden, 2½, to the family.
He began his homebuilding career with his dad, Mark, buying, tearing down and rebuilding homes on the Peninsula. The first house they build in Newport was on West Oceanfront more than 10 years ago. One of his favorites is a stunning home he built on East Bay Street just past Balboa downtown area.
Today Scott and his company have seven houses under way, building from scratch or remodeling.
“I only have one outside of Newport,” he says.
Whether or not Scott makes it be back on TV with the new reality show, he says he’ll always being doing what he say’s he love’s most: building custom homes.
“I’m not trying to become a TV guy, really,” he confesses.
He just wants to keep building homes and doing it here in Newport. If doing a little TV on the side helps, he says that’s OK. He’s glad to get himself and the city all the publicity he can.