Connecticut-based investment firm Wheelock Street Capital invests in 132-acre development-approved parcel in California's Jurupa Valley, featuring 425 lots for single-family homes; site-work slated to begin in spring 2014
January 19, 2013
– Wheelock Street Capital, a Connecticut-based investment firm, has made its first residential land acquisition in California, the 132-acre Stonehill Estates site in Jurupa Valley.
Situated near Interstate 15, the Stonehill Estates land parcel east of Cantu-Galleano Ranch Road features 425 lots for single-family homes out of a 1,000-lot master-planning area that includes trails and a 5-acre park.
Dan Green, a principal of Wheelock who heads land acquisition, said Stonehill Estates fits nicely with the company's investment criteria because it is fully entitled and is located close to Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside county job centers.
"This is a market that is starting to show dynamic growth," Green said.
Terms of the sale brokered with Industrial Developers International by Tom Dallape and Norm Scheel of The Hoffman Co., Irvine, were not divulged by Wheelock, a privately-held company.
"What made this a good piece of property from our perspective is that it had been approved for development in 2008," said Wheelock regional director Steve Thurtle. "All that prevented it from development was the economy."
With Eastvale edging closer to build-out status, Thurtle said this area is a logical next stop on the commuter corridor.
The size of the lots was another selling point, Thurtle said, noting that the 7,200-square-foot dimensions will comfortably accommodate a home of 2,500 to 3,200 square feet.
"We see that as a major attribute," he said. "We believe there is a demand for larger lots so people can enjoy their yards, afford more one-story homes. We believe that is an integral part of the property and we have no intention of rezoning it."
Wheelock plans to start land-related development of Stonehill Estates in the spring of 2014, Thurtle said.
"As the market continues to improve and Eastvale becomes more developed, we expect discussions will take place with homebuilders about that property," Thurtle said.
"We feel good about the future of the housing market here, and we're looking forward to finding additional opportunities for our investors," Green added.
Wheelock's business model calls for active development of "best-in-class" master planned communities in Texas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, Green said. "California will continue to be one of our markets of focus," he said.
The company has purchased more than 16,000 lots across several states over the last three years, Thurtle said. In California, Wheelock plans to target land investment in recovering areas of Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Last July, Wheelock Street Capital closed on $525 million in commitments to a multi-investor discretionary real estate fund for investment in a range of real estate assets throughout the U.S. Funding for the Stonehill Estates' acquisition came from this pool.
Two months ago, Wheelock also bought the assets of Atlanta-based John Wieland Homes in a joint venture with the Wieland family in November 2012, and is currently building homes in Georgia.
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