NEWPORT BEACH, CA—Homebuilder Trumark Homes has hired James Furey as VP of land acquisition. Furey is a veteran developer who has held management positions at three of the nation’s largest national homebuilders.
During his tenure with Meritage Homes, Richmond American Homes and Beazer Homes USA, Furey has overseen land acquisition and disposition, entitlement processing, land development and forward planning. Over the past decade, he has secured discretionary entitlements for more than 1,000 residential units and participated in the acquisition and disposition of more than 3,500 future residential units representing a residual land value in excess of $250 million.
According to Jason Kliewer, partner and general counsel for Trumark, “James is a versatile manager who brings a wealth of experience in many elements of the homebuilding process. He will be an invaluable asset as Trumark moves aggressively in the California market.”
As GlobeSt.com reported in February, Trumark Homes plans to develop a master-planned community of eight subdivisions with 805 luxury homes on a 184-acre hilly piece of land in East Dublin, CA, known as Wallis Ranch. Groundbreaking for the project could begin in May, and local media reports indicate that the deal involves an investment of more than $175 million. The development will take place as part of a joint venture with Isles Ranch Partners, LLC and Castlelake LP, alternative investment firms. Wallis Ranch, one of the last remaining parcels of fully entitled land in the Bay Area, according to Trumark, represents the most significant master-planned single-family land transfer over the past year.
In addition, as GlobeSt.com reported in January 2013, Trumark Cos. made a major move into San Francisco’s condominium market last year with the launch of Trumark Urban. The new division had acquired six sites in the city’s urban core for mid- and high-rise condominium communities with plans in the works for more than 500 for-sale units. The portfolio represented a commitment of investment exceeding $300 million.
Land acquisition is a major issue for homebuilders in California. As Matt Zaist, president and COO of William Lyon Homes, told GlobeSt.com earlier this week, getting land re-entitled in infill settings in most cases takes more than two years, a process that involves getting through the municipalities and local entities as well as the federal permitting required. “As the market has recovered, builders are looking for infill situations, and finding a target site could be a two-year process; then it could be north of three years to get the product into consumers’ hands.”
As a result, many public homebuilders are purchasing land from private builders who are having difficulty obtaining necessary capital for their projects due to stricter lender underwriting. Accordiing to Zaist, “As a public builder, with most of us being very well capitalized in terms of cash on hand, we can tap public debt and raise capital quickly.”