By Iris Richmond Jim Previti wondered for a while how he would keep busy after selling Forecast Homes. Now, his plan is in place, and the sale of the company leaves him well capitalized. "Having $240 million will give you a lot of confidence," says Previti, CEO and chairman of Empire Capital, his new company, located in Ontario, Calif.
Previti signed a non-compete agreement with Forecast not to build homes in the $300,000-and-below price range in California, but that won't affect Empire's game plan to build high-end. "My vision was always to invest a lot of money in this region. We need luxury opportunities," he says. Previti's already begun with The Retreat, a 1,000-acre development that will feature 540 homes and a Jack Nicklaus golf course. The homes in the master planned community are priced at about $600,000 and will complement other upscale projects he has planned for the Inland Empire, including a six-story office building topped with penthouses and a $2.5 million jet terminal.
Empire Capital also houses Previti's new land banking business, which will provide low-cost capital for land. "We think the land supply business is out of balance and that it needs standardized, predictable financing," says Previti.
He has lined up $300 million in bank financing for the land fund and expects to have it fully funded within 12 months.
BIG BUILDER Magazine, March 2002