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KB Home Goes Big In Downtown Santa Ana

Lacy Crossing, a planned 117-unit residential project in Downtown Santa Ana, has sold for $26.5 million.

Los Angeles-based homebuilder KB Home (NYSE: KBH) acquired the 6.1-acre site on E 3rd Street, located about a mile from the Santa Ana Zoo, from the Heidler Family Trust.

The site received entitlements in 2018 for 84 three-story detached homes and 33 attached townhomes. KB Home is not expected to make changes to the entitlements, which works the deal out to about $226,500 per unit and $4.3 million an acre.

The family went through the entitlement process themselves, according to Province West’s Marc Kleiman, who represented the sellers in the deal along with Daniel McDonough.

Notable Development

KB Home is expected to begin construction early next year at the site, a long-vacant truck yard that’s been in the Heidler family for decades.

The 84 detached homes are expected to range between 1,861 square feet and 2,274 square feet; the attached homes will run between 1,363 square feet and 1,836 square feet.

The pandemic is not expected to impact the construction timeline as “COVID-19 seems to be driving homebuying traffic in ways we haven’t seen since 2005,” according to Kleiman.

The project is the first for-sale residential development of this scale in the Downtown Santa Ana area in several years, Kleiman notes.

“Anytime there’s a building opportunity outside of Orange County’s master-planned-communities, especially one that’s fully entitled, it is aggressively pursued by builders,” he said.

A projected development cost was not disclosed.

Homebuilding Push

KB Home’s purchase trails a recent investment push by homebuilders in Orange County for land outside of the area’s three largest master-planned communities.

Three public builders shelled out more than $160 million in separate land deals across the region in the past few months.

Irvine-based homebuilder TRI Pointe Group Inc. (NYSE: TPH) recently bought a 3.7-acre site in Orange that’s a short walk from Santa Ana’s Main Place Mall, where 74 townhomes are planned.

The site is part of San Diego-based Fairfield Residential’s Town & Country project, a former office complex which it bought from the Colton Co. in 2018 with plans to build a mix of rentals and for-sale homes.

Horsham, Pa.-based Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) also bought the former Nakase Nursery site in Lake Forest after several years of planning.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed; sources indicate the company paid north of $100 million for the 125-acre property, or more than $800,000 per acre.

Toll Brothers has entitlements to develop 675 single-family homes; up to 101 rental senior affordable units; a public K-6 school; 12 acres of parks and amenities; and 10.4 acres of open space habitat and restoration area bordering the Serrano Creek.

In the final deal, Miami-based Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) closed on the land for the proposed Farm housing development in San Juan Capistrano for what property records indicate was $41.2 million.

It is planning a gated 169-lot residential project on the 34-acre site, with construction expected to start next year.

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