As the Del Mar Heights-based Lansing Cos. land development firm acquires thousands of acres elsewhere, a downzoning has forced a change of plans within San Diego County.
Within the past week, Lansing announced it had acquired 1,300 lots on 475 acres known as the Villages of San Jacinto near Hemet in southwest Riverside County from Dallas-based D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI). The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Lansing has a joint-venture partner who is aiding with the financing that the company declined to identify.
Along with the single-family residential lots, plans call for a new high school; a large community park; a beach club with swim lagoon, lake and mixed-use and commercial development; two neighborhood parks, paseos and trails.
“We’re going to have about 20 acres of commercial and 20 acres of industrial,” said Gregory Lansing, company president and CEO,
Lansing said it's the third major project the company has acquired from D.R. Horton.
Other active projects acquired from D.R. Horton include the 2,000-unit, master-planned community of Skyborne in the Coachella Valley; and Las Colinas, a 332-lot subdivision in the San Jacinto community.
Lansing is also in a joint venture with Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM) on the 2,600 unit Rancho Diamante DelWebb project in Hemet.
“Lansing Companies continues to add quality properties to our portfolio for future residential communities," the company writes. "Our inventory of investments ranges from 40- to 7,000-acre parcels in five counties in Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Kern, and San Bernardino) as well as other growth markets in Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado."
While Lansing hasn’t acquired a San Diego County property in a while, it owns about 8,000 acres in and around the communities of Boulevard and Jacumba in the eastern part of the county.
Lansing had some big plans for these parcels that ended up being thwarted a few years ago.
“The county downzoned us from one unit per four acres to one unit per 80, which killed our plans,” Lansing said.
The firm owns 4,000 acres in Boulevard known as Empire Ranch that Lansing said would be a good place for wind energy development as well as some very low-density residential. Such uses already exist near the Golden Acorn Casino.
Other properties in the vicinity owned by Lansing include a 2,280-acre Big Country Ranch property in Boulevard that has the Sunrise Powerlink running through it. An additional 652 acres in Boulevard is also close to the Powerlink corridor. Each of these are also considered suitable for wind turbines as well as possible very low-density residential use.
Lansing also has ownership interests in more than 300 additional acres in the Boulevard area.
The last property listed on the Lansing website is 390 acres the company owns fronting Old Highway 80 in Jacumba. The zoning for this property is rural residential though this has been considered for wind and solar as well.
The timing for the wind and solar projects that will be built on the Boulevard and the Jacumba acreage have yet to be determined but Lansing estimated that he is about midway through a roughly three-year approval process.
Lansing is no stranger to solar and wind projects. The company’s Green Energy Division has established a pipeline of 1,100 megawatts of solar and wind energy generation on 13,200 acres throughout Southern California.
The wind and solar facilities that have either been completed by Lansing or are in the works are distributed geographically from Boulevard to the Salton Sea, and from Barstow to Mojave.
Lansing doesn’t only handle development, Greg Lansing has personally negotiated and brokered more than $1 billion in land purchases and other sales during the past 30 years.
Lansing said along with acquiring and developing for its own accounts, it also assists large homebuilders such as Pulte and DR Horton with acquisitions greater than 200 acres with two to five units per acre in entry-level markets suitable for single-family, detached homes as well as high-density apartments, condos and town homes.
Lansing says this assistance often allows the landowner to receive more for their property than they would have received from a short-term escrow.
Lansing has acquired, developed, and sold properties and currently owns and manages more than 20,000 lots and more than 35,000 acres in various stages of development throughout the Southwest.