What’s more, the buy is a local one, kicking off the firm’s first new Orange County housing development in a few years.
The company recently closed on 132 home sites just east of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in San Juan Capistrano, with plans to build both detached homes and townhomes on the land.
The 16-acre development site is just north of a portion of the San Juan Hills Golf Club, on an undeveloped site at the southwest corner of Calle Arroyo and Paseo Tirador.
“Landsea Homes is thrilled to become a part of San Juan Capistrano, a city with a prominent place in California history,” said Tom Baine, Southern California division president at Landsea Homes.
The planned development, near the city’s historic district, joins another sizeable community in the works elsewhere in San Juan Capistrano: a gated 169-lot project led by Miami-based Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN).
The 132-unit site was shepherded through the entitlement process by Los Angeles’ Watt Cos.; a price that Landsea is paying for the land was not immediately disclosed.
Lennar paid a reported $41.2 million for its 34-acre, unfinished development site last year. A similar per-unit price would put Landsea’s deal in the $30 million range.
Finished lots in the city for home development were selling for nearly $520,000 at the start of 2021, according to data from Irvine land brokerage Land Advisors Organization.
That’s roughly the same per-lot price as home sites in Irvine, the largest source of new homes in OC for several years running. Newport Beach counts the priciest home lots, with the average finished lot site running about $1 million each at the start of 2021, according to Land Advisors’ data.
Landsea’s development will include 43 two-story detached homes and 89 three-story townhomes.
The detached homes will range from 1,700 square feet to 2,000 square feet; the townhomes will have three different floor plans ranging from 1,200 square feet to 1,900 square feet.
The homes will be designed with Spanish and farmhouse-style architecture, Landsea notes, and will be smart home enabled by the Apple HomeKit.
“Our new community will include distinctive floorplans and high-performance homes, while also offering residents a walkable quality of life so they can enjoy San Juan Capistrano’s lively downtown just a few minutes away,” Blaine said.
The project is situated not far from that of Lennar’s proposed Farm housing development site, along Del Obispo Street next to an Armstrong Garden Centers store.
The Lennar project has been in the works for several years, and is expected to begin construction soon.
Return to OC
Landsea’s newly announced project is the company’s first new Orange County development since 2019, when the company delivered Lido Villas, a 23-unit townhome project near Newport Beach’s Lido Village shopping area. That project, with homes in the $2 million range, sold out last year.
Other local projects for the builder include IronRidge, a 608-home development in Lake Forest it launched in 2015.
It is still actively selling homes at that community within its Silveroak and Copperleaf neighborhoods.
Landsea counts more than 6,500 home lots in California, Arizona and New York. More than a third of those lots were added in the past year. About 1,800 of those lots were in California at the start of 2021, according to regulatory filings.
Though Landsea continues to have its eye on Orange County, the company has been expanding out of state as of late, specifically in Arizona.
It entered Arizona by acquiring two builders there since 2018—Pinnacle West Homes and Garrett-Walker Homes—making Landsea a top five homebuilder in the state, with 4,800 lots in the state as of December 31.
It added another 1,067 lots in Arizona in early January.
Landsea is now targeting Texas and Florida for growth opportunities, the company’s Chief Executive John Ho previously told the Business Journal.
Ho started Landsea Homes in Pasadena in 2013, and has since grown the firm into a 250-employee business with north of $700 million revenue in 2020.
As of the start of the year, the company is also now publicly traded following the close of a reverse merger with New York-based SPAC LF Capital Acquisition Corp.
The deal was first announced last August, when LF Capital said it would buy Landsea for about $344 million in stock.
Shares are about flat at nearly $10 since its IPO.
The homebuilder, which currently counts a market cap of about $450 million, has a target of reaching nearly $1.2 billion in revenue by 2022.