Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 9, 2007

The house that SunCal built

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Development, Measure A — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 7:16 am

It appears that while historically SunCal has opted to largely stay out of the homebuilding business, they are throwing their hat into the already pretty saturated homebuilding biz in this soft real estate market.   From the Orange County Business Journal:

Irvine’s SunCal Cos., one of the country’s biggest developers of masterplanned communities, has a new line of business: homebuilding. The company is starting up Mosaic Homes, which will build on SunCal’s land in Southern and Northern California. Mosaic’s chief executive is Jay Moss, most recently the Southern California regional general manager of Los Angeles’ KB Home. It’s a big shift in strategy for SunCal, which to date has left the homebuilding duties on its large land holdings to other companies.

But Mosaic gives the company another option to turn to as some homebuilders have backed away from building during the downturn.

“SunCal wanted to control its destiny,” Moss said.

Large, publicly traded homebuilders have been looking to cut down their land holdings, leaving SunCal with fewer buyers for its projects.

“With the struggles of public homebuilders right now, it made sense for SunCal. They decided it was time to fully integrate” its development business with homebuilding, Moss said.

Don’t bother doing a search for Mosaic Homes just yet, their website is not up and ready yet.  There is already a Mosaic Homes website, but it’s out of Vancouver and Seattle, although if you have some time to take a peeksee around Mosaic’s website they have some nice developments of the “multifamily housing variety” particularly in the Vancouver portion.  Definitely not Measure A compliant.

Another take on the SunCal Homebuilding news, from the OCRegister Real Estate blog:

…The newly formed Mosaic Homes division will build homes on developed sites at approximately 20 locations in Orange County, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire and in Northern California, said SunCal spokesman Joe Aguirre.

“We have long been a master developer, selling residential lots that have been entitled and graded to homebuilder partners, and they build the homes,” Aguirre said. “The company believes it’s an excellent time to start a homebuilder.”

Aguirre said SunCal will continue to sell home sites to builders like Lennar, Standard Pacific and others. But Mosaic Homes residences likely will rise in subdivisions alongside the those of other builders. SunCal has yet to decide when to start construction on its own homes.

Aguirre noted that as a private company, SunCal will have advantages that publicly traded homebuilders don’t have. As builder profits turned into multi-million-dollar losses, public companies have cut back on construction, cut costs, laid off staff and abandoned land-purchases, forfeiting millions in deposits.

“We’re less impacted by short-term market cycles,” he said, noting that private companies are more free to focus on long-term plans…

While the spokesman puts a great spin on it in the second article, it’s clear that SunCal is moving outside of what it would normally prefer to do which is let the other guys build the housing.   But in this sort of market where homebuilders are indeed laying off employees left and right and shying away from new projects because the old projects simply are not selling as quickly (or at all) as they would like.  So, like any good company they are adapting their business model as necessary to stay in the game.   While more than likely the housing market should spring back by the time that SunCal starts building anything at Alameda Point, in the meantime it’s good to see that our master developer is being proactive.

In other SunCal news, SunCal and Calthorpe Associates will be presenting at the October 22 Planning Board meeting their plans for future workshops on Alameda Point, additionally they will also be having an open meeting on October 24 at the Mastick Senior Center to present to the public.

1 Comment

  1. Dear Sirs;

    Whom can I send my resume to for employment? Are you currently hiring? My current level of managment is ” director of construction”. In the past I’ve worked for Kaufman and Broad (so. coast div.) and Centex Homes (so. coast div.) as well.

    I would very much enjoy to contribute and be a part of your team.


    Bradford W. Shipcott

    Comment by bradford w. shipcott — February 4, 2008 @ 11:25 am

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