Brea Walden LLC paid $6.2 million to Houston-based Nuevo EnergyCo., which is the largest independent producer of oil and gas inCalifornia. The parcel abuts Tonner Hills, Nuevo's 790-acreproposed residential project.


"We are pleased to have realized a small portion of the value ofour California real estate portfolio and we believe that thistransaction bodes well for a larger one still to come," saysPhillip Gobe, Nuevo's interim president and CEO. Nuevo, which iscurrently seeking entitlement for Tonner Hills, plans to sell thatland as well.


"We acquired oil and gas assets in April 1996 and the land camealong with that purchase," says Barbara Forbes, a Nuevospokeswoman. Since real estate is not the company's core business,it has decided to sell the parcels, she explains.


Land available for residential development continues to be inshort supply all across Southern California, which has added to thehousing problem. "The transaction value (of the 13-acre Breaparcel) reflects the persisting scarcity of housing in OrangeCounty in general, and the high level of demand for land suitablefor residential development in the Brea area specifically," Gobesays.

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