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Thursday, Jul 18, 2024

Sticking to the Plan

Orange County’s three largest master-planned residential communities remain active with building and land development work, despite a variety of economic headwinds facing the industry, in particular high interest rates.

“California—including Orange County—still faces a severe shortage in new housing supply, and we need to produce more housing to keep pace with the demand,” Irvine-based Five Point Holdings LLC (NYSE: FPH) Chief Executive Dan Hedigan told the Business Journal.

Additionally, “buyers seem to have adjusted to generally higher rates than what we experienced for many years,” Hedigan added.

The Great Park Neighborhoods ranked No. 1 in Orange County, and No. 2 in the state, for best-selling master-planned communities in 2023, according to Irvine’s John Burns Research and Consulting.

It saw 698 homes sold in 2023, up from 326 in 2022.

Below is a look at what’s on the docket for each of the area’s top three communities.

Rancho Mission Viejo: Rienda

The third phase of Rancho Mission Viejo’s Rienda village began selling in January.

Homes in the village have been selling at an “excellent pace,” according to Rancho Mission Viejo’s Vice President of Marketing Stephanie Walker.

Rienda has seen 975 sales to date since its debut in 2022.

RMV ranked No. 2 in OC, and No. 4 in California, among homes sales in 2023, according to John Burns Research and Consulting’s data. It posted 532 sales in 2023, up from 311 in 2022.

Rienda’s newest phase counts 514 attached and detached homes, built by Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), Pulte Homes, Shea Homes, Trumark Homes and Tri Pointe Homes Inc. (NYSE: TPH).

Prices for homes in the village range from $500,000 to over $1 million.

Rienda’s first two phases are almost sold out, officials said. The village has two more phases left; the fourth is anticipated to open next summer while the fifth and final phase is expected to debut in 2027.

Interest in Rienda hails from both first-time buyers and “move-up” buyers, who already own a home in Rancho Mission Viejo but are looking to upgrade to another property within the master-planned community.

“There’s heavy demand from move-up buyers, which reinforces our value proposition,” Rancho Mission Viejo Senior VP of Community Development Kris Maher told the Business Journal.

Great Park Neighborhoods: Luna Park

FivePoint’s Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine’s newest community, Luna Park, could see some openings as soon as this month, according to the developer’s latest annual report.

The 798-home neighborhood will be opening in phases from now until December.
Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), which ranked No. 1 on the Business Journal’s top homebuilder’s list (see list, page 20), is the sole builder for Luna Park.

The Miami-based company, valued at $45 billion as of last week and with its West Coast base in Irvine, owns a 40% stake in FivePoint.

Luna Park is Great Park Neighborhoods’ eighth community in Irvine so far. Part of it will be the first community in the area to be served by the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, which ranks No. 624 in California, according to education ranking site Niche.

The seven other Great Park Neighborhoods communities are served by the Irvine Unified School District, which Niche places at No. 14 in the state.

Great Park Neighborhoods’ incoming communities, however, will join Luna Park in supplying students to SVUSD, FivePoint officials said.

Amenities across Great Park Neighborhoods include parks, trails, open spaces, pools, sports courts and outdoor kitchen areas.

Joining the offerings will be a grocery-anchored retail site headed by San Juan Capistrano-based retail developer and operator Almquist.

The city of Irvine has also tapped Almquist for its retail overhaul of the adjacent Great Park, one of many projects in the city’s $1 billion plan to expand the park (see story, page 9).

Irvine Ranch: Orchard Hills

Buyers looking to purchase a new home on the Irvine Ranch currently have several options at Portola Springs, while work moves ahead for the next big phase of Orchard Hills.

Dubbed “The Summit,” the final phase of the most exclusive neighborhood in North Irvine will consist of four gated luxury home programs with sweeping views of the city, officials have previously told the Business Journal.

A timeline for its opening hasn’t been disclosed yet. The median price for a home in Orchard Hills in January was $2.9 million, according to Redfin.

Also, in Irvine Co.’s future plans is Orange Heights, a long-planned project in East Orange.

The new community “will feature 1,180 for-sale homes; the vast majority will be single-family detached residences,” according to the developer’s website.

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