JV buys planned $ 213 million community


Estrella. Image courtesy of Harvard Investments, Toll Brothers and Varde Partners

Two huge planned communities in Arizona traded their hands in days for more than $ 800 million, with the latest transaction completed by a joint venture of Harvard Investments, Toll Brothers and Värde Partners. The companies acquired Estrella from Goodyear, Ariz. For $ 212.5 million.

NNP III – Estrella Mountain Ranch LLC, was the seller and Newland / Brookfield was the managerial developer of Estrella, a 20,000 acre mixed-use and planned community located approximately 17 miles west of Phoenix. The community is currently home to over 7,000 families and has over 18,000 acres of remaining developable land.

The acquired assets include current and future residential sites, multi-family and commercial plots, a Nicklaus Design golf course at Golf Club d’Estrella and facilities owned by developers. Facilities include two pavilions, resort-style pools and a water park, 72 acres of lakes, over 50 miles of trails and trails, and the Estrella Yacht Club.

The joint venture partners did not disclose the amount paid for Estrella, but the Phoenix Business Journal reported that the price was $ 212.5 million, making it one of the largest acquisitions by an active planned community in Arizona to date and the second largest transaction in the West Valley in the course of last week.

Howard Hughes Corp. announced on Oct. 19 that it had purchased the 37,000-acre Douglas Ranch in Buckeye, Ariz. for approximately $ 600 million from JDM Partners and El Dorado Holdings. The two companies will remain joint venture partners with HHC on Trillium, the first 3,000-acre Douglas Ranch village. Douglas Ranch will eventually have approximately 100,000 homes and 55 million square feet of retail space.

Growing estrella

Estrella will continue to actively develop new neighborhoods for a variety of builders, with additional plots expected to come online in the short term. Toll Brothers, the country’s largest luxury home builder, is one of the builders already active in Estrella. Toll Brothers announced in March that it is developing Beacon in Estrella, which will include five models of one and two story homes ranging from 1,672 square feet to 2,612 square feet.

Bob Flaherty, president of the Toll Brothers group, said in a prepared statement that the company looks forward to being part of the development team as well as an active builder at Estrella.

Toll Brothers has been active with other joint ventures and acquisitions in recent months. In August, Toll Brothers and Equity Residential announced plans to develop nearly $ 1.9 billion of new rental communities in six key US markets over the next three years through a strategic partnership. Also in August, Toll Brothers acquired StoryBook Homes, a private Las Vegas homebuilder that currently has five active selling communities and owns or controls more than 550 lots.

In Estrella, future planning includes the continuation of the villages of Lucero and Montecito, as well as immediate planning of new villages east of Estrella Parkway. With the active homebuyer market, the goal is to increase the variety of new home offerings, the number of builders and to add more Estrella neighborhoods. Tim Brislin, vice president of Harvard Investments, said in prepared remarks the intention is to build on Estrella’s excellent planning foundation and maintain its reputation as a premier master planning community. Cadence at Gateway, a planned 400-acre development in Mesa, Ariz. Owned by Harvard Investments, a real estate investment and development firm, and GTIS, is among its holdings.

Brendan Bosman, Managing Director of Värde Partners, one of the world’s leading alternative investment funds with U.S. offices in Minneapolis and New York, said Värde believes Estrella offers a compelling opportunity to respond to strong demand for housing in a major market for Sunbelt which also complements its existing portfolio. planned communities. Previous investments in planned communities include Daybreak in southern Jordan, Utah; Windsong Ranch in Prosper, Texas; Vistancia in Peoria, Arizona; River Verde in Scottsdale; and Sunfield in Buda, Texas.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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