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Davidson Communities, N.C. company buy Torrey Highlands parcel

In their second joint venture together, Del Mar-based Davidson Communities and Charlotte, N.C.-based Mountain Real Estate Capital have teamed up to purchase a 92.7-acre parcel planned for 85 single-family lots north of state Route 56 in the Torrey Highlands area.

The joint venture paid $14.5 million to acquire the acreage south of Carmel Valley Road where 85 single-family homes are planned.

The homes are expected to be priced from the $700,000s. The square foot ranges are still being determined.

The purchasing entity in the transaction that closed on Jan. 26 was MREC-Fairbanks Davidson, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.

The sellers (assessor's parcel numbers 306-011-42,43,44,47,50) were three California limited partnerships: BMR Investors, Ltd., Horseshoe Investors, Ltd., and Penasquitos West.

Michael Levesque, Davidson Communities chief operating officer, said his firm plans to begin grading in the spring. Model construction is expected to get underway in the summer with completion of the showcase units by late fall.

Levesque said 44 of the units will be constructed in a gated development. There will be no custom lots, however.

"Fairbanks Country Villas represents a great investment opportunity and allows MREC to continue to grow its platform in San Diego with Davidson Communities," said Peter Fioretti MREC CEO in a statement. "We have been pursuing this acquisition for several months and are very excited to add this as our second project with the Davidson team.”

Bill Davidson, Davidson Communities president, says he really likes the property.

"Davidson Communities has been building homes in the Carmel Valley corridor for nearly 30 years, and we believe this is a great piece of land," Davidson said.

A joint statement from MREC and Davidson said five of the top nine selling subdivisions in San Diego County are located in the Torrey Highlands submarket along SR-56.

"In addition, the project is in close proximity to the region's top employers and is within the Poway Unified School District,” Davidson added.

Tom Orradre, MREC senior director, added, "We are thrilled to be investing in the Fairbanks project with Davidson Communities and know there will be strong demand for homes in this community. This investment further strengthens our relationship with Davidson and continues to grow MREC's presence in Southern California. We look forward to many more acquisitions with the Davidson team."

The Fairbanks Country Villas lot acquisition marks the second time in five months this partnership has teamed up to purchased a sizable piece of real estate in this part of the county.

MREC and Davidson closed on lots at The Sentinels at Del Sur in August 2010 in the Black Mountain Ranch masterplan, which is north of the Fairbanks Country Villas site.

Davidson /MREC acquired The Sentinels project, consisting of four models and 17 finished lots, for $5.78 million last summer.

Davidson Communities is now pouring foundations for the first eight-home phase at The Sentinels.

The phase of luxury residences was released last Saturday, in conjunction with a grand opening of the neighborhood, according to the Del Mar-based builder.

The Sentinels was originally a project of Laing Luxury (John Laing Homes) Homes in collaboration with Baywood Development, but the property was lost to foreclosure.

The Sentinels homes were designed by Scheurer Architects in clusters of eight on the perimeter of an interior plaza.

The two- and three-story floor plans range from 2,772 to 3,329 square feet, with three to four bedrooms and 3.5 to 4.5 bathrooms and home sites range from 6,972 to 16,823 square feet. Prices are expected to start in the $700,000s here, as well.

Redesigned interiors by Davidson offer more windows and bedrooms than in the project's original designs, as well as additional master bathroom and kitchen options. Exteriors will feature private interior courtyards and rear patios.

The Sentinels is Davidson's second neighborhood in Del Sur. The builder constructed the 70-home Kensington at Del Sur as well.

Davidson expects these two ventures with MREC to be the first of many.

"We're confident that the strength of our partnership with Mountain will allow us to discover similar opportunities as the Southern California market continue its recovery," Davidson said.

Over the past 12 months, MREC has formed over 15 partnerships with private homebuilders, acquired over 7,800 lots and committed more than $155 million to these joint ventures.

MREC's homebuilder joint venture program is led by Managing Director Joel Kaul in Minneapolis.

"We are very committed to providing capital to builders for well located projects in California and in other top housing markets," Kaul said.

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Shawn Baldwin 7:03am February 5, 2011

Mountain Funding