Military Coup Through its joint-venture partnership, Lennar Corp. placed a winning bid of $650 million to acquire Heritage Fields, a 3,700-acre former Marine Corps base in Irvine, Calif. The community plan includes a variety of residential products, with deliveries expected to begin in 2008. Other partners in the project include LNR Property Corp., Rockpoint Real Estate Fund I, Blackacre Institutional Capital Management, and MSD Capital.

Since 1989, Lennar and LNR have planned community projects on six California military properties.

Building Up WCI Communities has moved into the Washington, D.C., market with the acquisition of luxury home builder and high-rise developer Renaissance Housing Corp. Based in Reston, Va., Renaissance is marketing executive, estate, and townhomes in eight locations and plans to open four more communities this year. The company recently completed a 298-unit condo in Reston and will be marketing two additional luxury towers in 2005. According to WCI president Jerry Starkey, the acquisition is consistent with the company's strategy to expand beyond Florida and serve primary/move-up retirement and second home/luxury markets.

Concord Conquers Chicago ‘Burbs Palatine, Ill.-based Concord Homes began sales in February at Greywall Club, the company's fourth new development in Chicago's southwest suburbs. Concord's latest offering will include 800 units of single-family and townhomes; the development will include a pool and clubhouse. Plans also call for an elementary school and Concord's first south suburban design studio.

The company has opened three other developments in the area in the past three months: Autumn Fields and Silver Leaf in Joliet as well as Brecken Ridge in Shorewood. Together, these four communities will bring nearly 1,000 homes to the I-55 corridor.

Urban Entreé Partnering with Roseland Property Co. of Short Hills, N.J., Lennar Corp. has announced the acquisition of a portfolio of urban properties in the Northeast.

The transaction includes nearly 1,300 residential home-sites and 300 conversion apartments in Port Imperial (located in Weehawken, West New York, and New Jersey). It also includes 1,200 homesites in three Boston-area communities with prime waterfront locations that are readily accessible to Boston's Financial District.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roseland will continue to manage the development of the properties.

Housing Starts High According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, privately owned housing starts hit a high in January, with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2,159,000 single-family starts—an 11.6 percent increase over January 2004 and the highest rate since February of 1984. View the full report at: