The sales agents at Irvine Co.'s Woodbury East development must have thought they were having a flashback to 2005 when they showed up for work last Saturday morning.
Dozens of prospective home buyers had started lining up at 6 a.m. for the 10 a.m. grand re-opening of the Irvine, Calif., community that had been stalled for a couple of years.
By 10:15 a.m., all 13 available townhomes built by William Lyon Homes in Ivy, a part of The Villages of Irvine, Calif. Still, the lookers spewed in. An estimated 2,000 came that day to see the 1,180- to 1,500-square-foot homes that started at the mid-$300s and climbed to the low $400s.
Another phase is scheduled to open soon.
Tom Veal, vice president of Irvine Company Community Development, attributed the interest to the pricing, the location, good schools, and the community's extensive amenities that include parks and a tricked-out community center that is under construction.
"Ivy's grand opening demonstrated that first-time home buyers and others have been waiting for the right opportunity to join Irvine, and Ivy provides exactly that," Veal said. "Ivy is a new neighborhood with an attractive price point and all of the unique amenities and facilities of Woodbury East."
Those factors weren't enough to sell homes when the project opened in 2007. At the time, only John Laing Homes, currently in bankruptcy, went vertical with eight houses that remain unsold now, according to local newspaper reports.