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ORLANDO-Toll Brothers Inc., the Horsham, PA-based builder which entered the Florida market in 1995 has stepped into the Orlando residential development arena for the first time with the all-cash purchase of the Central Florida division of the 27-year-old Coral Gables-based Landstar Homes.

Under terms of the contract, privately held Landstar will continue to own and operate its homebuilding division in Dallas along with continued land acquisition and development activities in other parts of Florida.

Toll Brothers didn’t disclose the contract price in a prepared statement but confirmed the acquisition involves “substantially all of the assets” of Landstar’s Central Florida division, including 2,500 developable lots owned or controlled by Landstar. Local residential brokers familiar with the shelter market here tell GlobeSt.com the lots have a minimum estimated wholesale value of $50,000 each or an aggregate total of $150 million.

Toll Brothers, publicly traded on the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges, expects the acquisition to have no effect on earnings per share in its third quarter of fiscal 2005 and add about one cent to earnings per share in its fourth quarter, according to Toll chairman and CEO Robert I. Toll. “Landstar brings a strong land portfolio and ground-buying relationships, as well as a near-30-year history in the Orlando market,” he notes.

In the same statement, William Morrisey, executive vice president and general manager for Landstar’s Central Florida division, says Toll Brothers, “with its substantial capital resources, management systems, development expertise and brand name in the Florida market, is the ideal complement to our team’s local knowledge and long-established relationships in Central Florida.”

Morrisey adds, “We see many growth opportunities in Orlando and surrounding areas and look forward to a long and prosperous future in the Toll Brothers family.”

For calendar year 2004, Landstar’s Central Florida division delivered 471 homes and produced revenue of $115 million. For calendar year 2005, Landstar anticipates delivering about 520 homes and producing revenue of about $150 million, according to Morrisey. The average price of Landstar’s homes in backlog is over $350,000.

For more recent Toll news, click here.

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