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BOYNTON BEACH, FL-Aurora, Ontario, Canada-based Magna Entertainment Corp. has agreed to sell approximately 157 acres next to its Palm Meadows training center here to Toll Brothers, a Horsham, PA-based builder of luxury homes and communities. The deal calls for a cash payment of $51 million, which translates to $324,840 an acre, or about $7.46 per sf, and is expected to close by March 30, 2006.

To date, Toll Brothers has built 10 communities in Palm Beach County. They include the Frenchman’s Reserve golf and country club in Palm Beach Gardens, and a townhouse community in Boca Raton. During its third-quarter conference call, the company revised its 2006 guideline for home deliveries downward to as few as 9,500 new homes from an earlier projected maximum of 10,600.

Robert I. Toll, chairman, cited a “softening of demand in some markets,” and also said, “it appears we may be entering a period of more moderate home price increases.” At the same time, he said, “With approximately 81,000 lots under our control, compared to 60,198 in year-end 2004, and a projection of approximately 265 selling communities by fiscal year-end 2006, we believe we will enjoy continued growth as we expand geographically, diversify our product lines and continue to gain market share.” Calls to Toll regarding its plans for the Magna property were not returned by deadline.

For Magna, “this transaction is the next step in our re-capitalization plan to sell certain non-core assets, reduce debt and strengthen our balance sheet,” says W. Thomas Hodgson, president and CEO, in a statement. The Magna property here is part of a 300-acre horse-training facility. The company operates approximately a dozen racetracks, including Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach.

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