Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Northern California master-planned community sold to Lafferty Communities
The Hoffman Company—one of California’s most established land brokerage firms—announced today that it has closed the sale of the Faria Preserve property to Lafferty Communities, a private, family-owned developer, in one of the largest land transactions in the East Bay area in several years.
Lafferty Communities, The Hoffman Company, purchase, Faria Preserve, California
The Hoffman Company—one of California’s most established land brokerage
firms—announced today that it has closed the sale of the Faria Preserve property to Lafferty Communities, a private, family-owned developer, in one of the largest land transactions in the East Bay area in several years.
Faria Preserve is a roughly 440-acre property annexed in 2009 by the city of San Ramon, the heart of the East Bay real estate market. Construction is projected to commence in 2014 with the first model homes expected to be open by 2015.
“The Faria Preserve was a complex transaction that had fallen through a number of times before with different parties who were unable to close,” said land broker Cameron Fowler, one of The Hoffman Company’s rising stars in Northern California, who closed the deal. “Lafferty Communities deserve a lot of credit in underwriting and understanding the opportunity that led to this purchase. They are committed to creating a vibrant new community in the supply-constrained San Ramon market.”
The Faria Preserve development is a master-planned residential community set among the rolling hillsides on the northwestern edge of San Ramon. It consists of a Tentative Map approved for 786 units ranging from single-family detached homes to multi-family apartments. The community also will boast an assortment of public amenities including active parks, open space and natural resource preservation.
The transaction is representative of The Hoffman Company’s real estate strategy in the Bay Area: finding scarce land-acquisition targets in proximity to significant employment centers.
“A lot of our focus over the past six months has been identifying residential development opportunities in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties where most of the job growth has occurred,” Fowler said.
The recent Facebook IPO announcement and the IPOs of the professional network LinkedIn and social game developer Zynga have created a flood of new wealth into the area that in turn has lead to increased new home demand.
Faria Preserve sits approximately two miles northwest of the corporate headquarters of Chevron, the third-largest company on the Fortune 500. Chevron is the city’s largest employer, with 3,500 employees at its corporate headquarters, or about 1 of every 8 people who work in San Ramon.
Other major employers in San Ramon include AT&T (2,130 jobs), Robert Half International (1,052), the San Ramon Regional Medical Center (793), Accenture (750), and 24 Hour Fitness.
The strategy has worked well. In the past three years, Fowler has sold well over 2,500 lots valued in excess of $100 million. Fowler currently has nearly a half dozen deals under contract that would total more than $50 million.
“We take a labor intensive approach, adopting the buyer’s or investor’s perspective when working with buyers and sellers,” said Fowler, who has been with The Hoffman Company for nearly five years. “There’s not a lot of available land in the Bay Area, let alone entitled. We strategically assist buyers and sellers in identifying residential development opportunities in supply constrained markets within close proximity to job centers. In having an intricate understanding of our clients’ needs we are able to successfully match buyers and sellers. Faria Preserve is a great example as to our understanding of who the right buyer was for the deal.”