In the first two weekends of February, Murray Franklyn Family of Communities, which is based in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Wash., sold a dozen homes in Redmond Ridge East, a master planned community where last September this builder bought out its joint-venture partner, Quadrant Homes, and acquired 337 acres, representing 600 lots.

"We felt that Redmond was underserved, in terms of lot inventory," says Steve Hiller, a partner with Murray Franklyn, which has been building homes and developing property in the Seattle area for 42 years. Hiller declined to disclose how much his company paid for this land, except to note that this acquisition "is definitely a major move for us."

Hiller told BUILDER on Thursday that Murray Franklyn--which develops between 70 percent and 75 percent of what it builds--had completed construction on 224 homes in three subdivisions of Redmond Ridge East. It recently completed its models in two subdivisions and opened its sales office. Kevin Rech, the builder's acquisitions manager, says that Murray Franklyn is offering three different products:

In one neighborhood, called Brighton, it is selling courtyard-style homes that range from 1,800 to 2,300 square feet, and from the high $500s to the low $600s. Rech says that this line is a new addition to Murray Franklyn's portfolio.
A second neighborhood, called Chandler, features homes ranging from 3,200 to 3,600 square feet (with one 2,800-square-foot model included), whose prices go from the high $600s to the high $700s. Rech says that these homes exemplify how Murray Franklyn has improved its design flow.
In a third, as-yet-unnamed neighborhood, the builder will offer houses ranging from 3,600 to 4,200 square feet, and from the high $700s to the low $900s, depending on which options package customers choose.
In the entire development, which will have a total of 800 homes, Quadrant has purchased 130 lots for affordable attached homes. And there are another 112 lots on which affordable townhomes and apartments will be built, although Hiller couldn't say yet by which builder. The affordable homes are separated by land and roads from what Murray Franklyn is selling, says Rech.

The attractiveness of this community is its proximity to job centers in Redmond and to Microsoft's headquarters. And Redmond Ridge-which Quadrant has been building in for 15 years, and which includes one of Shea Homes' age-restricted Trilogy golf course communities-is a well-known brand. "There's still a lot happening" in terms of buyer demand, says Hiller. More than 200 potential customers came out during the first weekend of sales, including a single mother Hiller met, who works for Microsoft. "She was very excited about moving into this neighborhood," says Hiller.

The community is located near Redmond's town center and will include 40 acres of parks, fields, and trails, as well as an elementary school the county has committed to build there. Hiller notes that his company wants to build at least 500 homes here, but future home construction is contingent on road construction and traffic improvements by King County.

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