Toll Brothers, which has shifted into strategic fuel-injection in recent months with the announcement of high-end multifamily and student housing initiatives, is back in headline-grabbing mode. Now, Toll's pressing the pedal to the medal on its Active Living, 55-plus community development plan, pushing for the first time into the Western United States with a big new commitment in Denver-area masterplanned community Anthem Ranch.
In a press statement set for this morning, Toll says "it had contracted to acquire 387 lots at Anthem Ranch," which means, in effect, that Toll is taking over from Del Webb in a community that PulteGroup sold off to Wheelock Street Capital and partner Oread Capital & Development in December 2011.
Anthem Ranch is an approximately 1,700–home, 800-acre active-adult community located in Broomfield, Colorado. It is part of the larger master plan known as Anthem Colorado in which nearly 1,400 homes have been built since its opening in 2006.
Clearly, Toll strategic management believes market signals call now for an investment blitz across the higher-end spectrum of community types--for-rent, student, high-rise urban condominium, town homes, and masterplanned communities--and geographies. Having emerged from a five-year downturn profitably, with a cash trove, and minimal debt, Toll can shift into overdrive on its luxury-end store count and drive operating margins across the volume.
As for Anthem, it is masterplanned communities such as this one that are and will continue to be builder magnets. Through the the years of the downturn, Anthem managed to record 200 home sales per year since it opened in 2006. 1,400 of its 3,000 planned home sites have sold.
"We've had 20 interested builders for every opening we've had for a new builder in the community," Oread principal Jeff Handlin told Builder Pulse. Anthem's mixed-age communities--Anthem Highlands--adjacent to the active adult tract Toll is buying into, has Richmond American models, and recently brought in Standard Pacific Homes, which plans to open stores early this year, and Ryland Homes, which will open models in the Fall.
Toll Brothers press statement reads:
Neighborhoods in the community where Toll Brothers is building will be identified as “Anthem Ranch by Toll Brothers”. Toll Brothers plans to offer 12 to 15 different floor plans ranging in size from 1,500 to over 3,000 square feet with base home prices from the low $300,000s to the upper $400,000s. Through Toll Brothers’ unique customization system, buyers will be able to extensively customize their homes with a tremendous variety of structural and designer options to enhance their lifestyles. The Company expects to open for sale in May 2013 with the Grand Opening of its model home park in January 2014.