New Fund Seeks Distressed Assets. “Florida-based real estate developer The Kolter Group is partnering with an affiliate of global investment firm Och-Ziff Capital Management Group to buy $1 billion in residential assets throughout the Southeast… Kolter management said acquisition targets will run the gamut from raw land to finished units, as well as equity and debt interests in residential communities… To date, most investment funds… have been unsuccessful in sealing deals, as the spread between bid and ask prices on land and related debt have been too wide. Kolter CIO Howard Erbstein: That… could change in H2’08, as builders and developers find their window to collect tax refunds against back profits closing.” (Big Builder Online, Aug. 18)
Lombardo to buy Centex properties, increase market share in Southeast Michigan. “Lombardo Homes [will] purchase Centex's remaining land assets in Southeast Michigan… [comprising] finished lots, undeveloped land and model homes in 14 Michigan communities… Lombardo has been a mid-size player in the residential construction market... Housing Consultants Inc., which tracks new home construction activity in Southeast Michigan: The total for the region is 2,196 permits, valued at $370M. This year, Centex (CTX) has been issued 36 building permits in Oakland County and 123, valued at $23 million, region-wide. If Lombardo acquires all of them, the builder would be at par with Pulte Homes' (NYSE:PHM) 184 permits valued at $38.5M.” (Oakland Business Review via M Live, Aug. 18)
M/I Homes CEO Sells 65,000 Shares. “SEC filing: Robert Schottenstein, CEO of homebuilder M/I Homes Inc (NYSE:MHO), the No. 19 U.S. home builder, sold 65,000 shares of company stock between Aug. 12 and 15 for proceeds of about $1 million. "There's long been a sell bias at the company," said Ben Silverman of filing tracking site InsiderScore.com. "I think at this point any insider sales in the home building sector are a negative sign." (Reuters, Aug. 18)
Ryland Puts Wildflower Up For Sale. California: “Ryland spokesman Doug Goldsmith appeared before the Amador Water Agency Board of Directors on Thursday to request an extension of his company's conditional will-serve contract with the agency for water service to its Wildflower subdivision adjacent to Howard Park. The contract is due to expire some time next year and the project is up for sale… Ryland (NYSE:RYL) is closing its Northern California division. Extension of the contract would aid his company's search for a buyer for Wildflower. Ryland contributed 90% of the cost - nearly $2 million- to construction of the tank... Ryland can recoup its expense either by charging new homebuyers for water hook-ups or by selling the project.” (Ledger Dispatch, Aug. 18)
Plans For Over-55 Development In Marlborough Scaled Back. Marlborough, Massachusetts: “Councilors originally approved a plan for 210 units on just over 30 acres… for an over-55 project, but attorney Arthur Bergeron said during last night's council meeting landowners Toll Brothers MA Land Limited (NYSE:TOL) now want to build 80 units on about 14 acres… Councilors approved the special permit in 2003, as part of an approximate 38 acres that included eight acres for an office park and gave the remaining 30 acres to Toll Brothers. Under the new proposal, homes would be built on just under 14 acres and the remaining land would be used by office park developer Jon DelliPriscoli to expand his project.” (Metrowest Daily, Aug. 18)
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