Trumark Homes, the two-year-old builder based in Irvine, Calif., has ambitious expansion plans as it moves ahead on several projects in its home state.

The company, which closed 24 homes in 2010, has 1,800 lots under its control, according to Mike Maples, a principal. It recently sold 89 lots in South San Jose, Calif., that it developed under a joint-venture agreement with Brookfield Homes, which plans to construct and sell single-family detached homes on those lots.

Trumark, a homebuilding subsidiary of the developer Trumark Companies, also has a 96-unit townhouse project underway in what’s known as the Berryessa area of San Jose, construction at which is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2012. A 600-unit project in Santa Clara is on land that Trumark has purchased from Extreme Networks, which provides Ethernet and Carrier Class networks. The builder will take down that land in two phases: the first phase’s construction of 154 single-family and townhouse units should get going in 2013; the second phase, which Maples says will be for higher-density neighborhoods, will start depending on how market conditions shape up.

News about these projects was first reported in the San Jose Business Journal on Friday.

Maples tells BUILDER that the projects at South San Jose, Santa Clara, as well as a 300-unit mixed-use project under planning review in Sunnyvale, Calif., involve tearing down offices to make way for new homes. The Journal reports, for example, that Trumark paid $23 million for the land in South San Jose, whose redevelopment requires removing a 123,000-square-foot office building and another 55,000-square-foot structure. “The office market in northern California right now is so depressed, but we see the window of opportunity being short” for redevelopment deals, he says.

This year, Trumark projects that it will close around 80 homes, and Maples acknowledges that because of still-modest buyer demand in some areas, his company pushed back some of its home starts until 2012. Since launching the company in 2009, Trumark has stuck with its business strategy of infilling markets in California whose new-home supply is sparse or where there’s a lot of older home inventory. The one thing that’s changed, says Maples, is that “the land market has opened up” in northern California. The company was “significantly profitable” in 2010 partly because of land sales, and it intends to sell off 125 more finished lots this year.

He’s optimistic about business conditions in general, especially in the Silicon Valley “where the job market has shown signs of life.” And for houses priced under the conforming loan limit “the market doesn’t look bad.” Trumark's homes sell for between $500,000 and $1 million.

John Caulfield is senior editor with BUILDER magazine.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Jose, CA, Los Angeles, CA.