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LA JOLLA, CA-In a move that has significantly stepped up Newland Communities’ presence as a master-planned community developer in five US markets and gained it entry into two more, the locally based firm has partnered up with the California Employees’ Retirement System to acquire 21 properties from Terrabrook Communities. The partnership, known as Newland National Partners II, has just wrapped up due diligence and closed the $600-million deal.

The new owner first “discovered the opportunity” to purchase Terrabrook’s portfolio last November, Newland’s vice chairman and COO Derek Thomas tells GlobeSt.com. “We became aware through some mutual acquaintances,” he adds, noting that negotiations were completed in the first part of this year.

Now, less than a year after learning about the portfolio opportunity, Newland “has acquired substantially all of the residential community development portfolio and related management operations of Terrabrook,” according to company officials. The move has beefed up Newland’s holdings in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, where it already owned assets. It has also gained Newland entry into the markets of Maryland and Colorado, where the company did not previously have a presence. Before the acquisition, Newland had operations in nine states, Thomas tells GlobeSt.com. That figure has risen to 11 as a result of the Terrabrook purchase, he adds.

In addition to Terrabrook’s 21 master-planned residential communities, Newland is also adding 150 employees to its firm as part of the recent purchase. The plan is to keep on all of Terrabrook’s employees, Thomas explains, noting that the new staff members will “nearly double the size of the firm,” which previously employed 165 people.

Moving forward, Newland officials plan to “continue to grow the portfolio through additional acquisitions,” Thomas says. “We’ll be looking to build on our presence in all of our markets,” he adds. Aside from the aforementioned states, Newland also has holdings in South Carolina, Oregon, Washington and Minnesota.

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