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Plum Canyon developer sells remaining lots

Development: New owner KB Homes expects to hold grand opening in spring 2011

Posted: September 27, 2010 10:52 p.m.
Updated: September 28, 2010 4:55 a.m.

More than 200 empty residential lots in Plum Canyon have changed hands, and the new owner plans to have homes built and ready to sell on the property by next summer, it was announced Monday.

SunCal, developer of master-planned and mixed-use communities, announced the sale of the 224 lots to KB Homes on Monday. The transaction was valued at more than $20 million, SunCal said.

The lots have sat empty since 2006, according to SunCal spokesman Joe Aguirre.

The lots are part of the 215-acre Plum Canyon development in Saugus, which includes 272 single-family and detached condominiums already built and occupied.

Construction on the remaining lots by KB Homes would complete the community.

Craig LeMessurier, KB Homes director of corporate communications, confirmed Monday the firm is planning to build single-family residences on the remaining lots.

“We’re planning for a grand opening in the spring of 2011, and probably deliver the first homes (to buyers) in the summer,” said LeMessurier.

Asked if new construction in Plum Canyon signaled optimism on behalf of the builder in the midst of the still-slumping housing market, LeMessurier replied only that KB Homes was happy to building in the Santa Clarita Valley again.

He said the builder plans to construct 94 homes ranging from 1,500 to 2,300 square feet and another 130 homes ranging from 1,700 to 2,700 square feet.

Floor plans for the new houses are part of a new series of designs with greater open living spaces and low energy-use ratings.

“The homes will be 45 percent more energy efficient than homes built 10 years ago,” said LeMessurier.

On Friday, KB Homes announced revenues were up 9 percent over the same period in the previous year. According to the company’s third-quarter financial results, the increase marked the first time in nearly four years that the company has generated year-over-year growth.

Homes in the company’s inventory of existing products fell in August 2010. The backlog in August 2010 represented 2,169 homes, a drop from 3,722 homes in August 2009.

Third-quarter net loss totaled $1.4 million, narrowing the loss to a near break-even point, after last year’s third quarter net losses totaled $66 million.

“The housing market continues to face significant headwinds from high unemployment and foreclosures,” said Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive officer of KB Homes.

“Nonetheless, building on our improved operating results for the third quarter, we intend to open new communities in select locations that are expected to offer attractive potential sales growth,” he said.


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