The cover story of Time’s July 14 issue is a 39-page special report, “The Smarter Home.” Naturally, I had to read it.
Ben Anderson contacted the landowner and offered assistance in overcoming five hurdles that stood in the way of development on the site.
Photo by Mark Robert Halper
Project: Falcon Point, Fontana, Calif.
Builder-developer: Ben Anderson, BCA Development Inc., Newport Beach, Calif.
Project size: 23 acres
Proposed development: Switch the site from apartment use and build 142 single-family detached homes.
Landowner: A New York City investment fund
Site considerations: As part of the adjoining master plan approved by the city of Fontana, these 23 acres were designated to house 390 apartments. The landowner tried to move forward with that plan, but it was blocked via lawsuits from local opponents.
|A detached, single-family map for Falcon Point grew out of local discontent with a previous multi-family designation.|
Deal story: Anderson heard about the litigation surrounding the 23-acre parcel and the landowner’s desire to build 390 apartments. Anderson contacted the landowner and offered assistance in overcoming five hurdles that stood in the way of development on the site. He offered to:
At first the deal was based on a letter of intent and a level of trust from hitting certain performance expectations.
Anderson took a risk in working "part of the way down the road" on the project without a lock-tight purchase agreement. But he controlled the land without owning it for nine months before the vote by the 1,200 members of the community facilities district.
"The trigger here was not the tentative map but a public financing plan that had to be voted on by 1,200 homeowners, and we had to have a 66% approval," Anderson says.
"In the end we received more than 1,100 votes in favor of our plan."