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IRVINE, CA-Beverly Hills-based New Pacific Realty Corp. has acquired the 3.5-acre site of a partially built former KB Home luxury condominium project called the Carlyle at Colton Plaza that was planned for 156 units and plans to complete the development, with construction possibly starting in early 2010. The Beverly Hills-based firm acquired the site in a foreclosure sale from a lender in an off-market transaction that was brokered by the Costa Mesa office of Chicago-based Moran & Co.

According to City of Irvine documents, the development site is at 2201 Martin, at the northeast corner of Douglas and Martin. New Pacific expects to resume construction of the project “as early as the first quarter of 2010,” according to Arnold Rosenstein, chairman of New Pacific. None of the condo units have been built, but KB Home built a 388-car, two-story concrete parking structure on the site before it quit the project. Upon completion, the Carlyle will consist of 156 units comprising 220,000 square feet in two-bedroom, three-bedroom and penthouse units ranging in size from 1,240 to 1,580 square feet. Building amenities will include a resort-style pool and spa with cabanas; outdoor lounges with fireplaces and gas grills; a private club room with gourmet kitchen; a fitness studio; intimate courtyards with lush landscaping; a two-story lobby and controlled-access entry.

Tom Moran Jr., a Moran & Co. director who represented the lender in the sale along with Moran president Mary Ann King, comments that, “By the time construction is completed on the Carlyle, most of the excess inventory in the market will have been absorbed, and, in all likelihood, we’ll see positive job growth again.” Since there are no other for-sale projects in Irvine on this timeline, Moran says, the Carlyle “will have virtually no competition when it opens.”

CEO David Margulies of New Pacific, which represented itself in the acquisition from the lender that had foreclosed on the project, notes that the Beverly Hills-based firm “exited the market about two and a half years ago, thereby accumulating a large cash war chest” with deals like its $500 million sale of 9900 Wilshire in Los Angeles. “We are now aggressively seeking new investment opportunities,” Margulies says. Terms of New Pacific’s acquisition of the site were not disclosed.

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