A Valley-based land brokerage firm recently bought up another local real estate company in an effort to strengthen its position amid a sagging housing market.
The Land Advisors Organization announced this week the acquisition of commercial real estate brokerage firm Weinstein & Harris, which specializes in land sales for master-planned communities.
Started in 2004, Weinstein & Harris recently brokered a deal in Pinal County, where Communities Southwest bought up 900 house lots from Standard Pacific Homes for nearly $21 million. The firm also has more than $1 billion in pending escrows and real estate listings.
“The current economic climate is creating stress in the real estate market and driving demand for restructuring and strategic counsel from even the strongest players,” co-founder Howard Weinstein said in a statement.
Weinstein, along with co-founder Derek Harris, will head up Land Advisors’ homebuilder group.
The green building movement is growing rapidly, but major builders still have a long way to go in addressing environmental and energy efficiency issues, according to a national investment firm.
In a survey of the nation’s 13 largest builders, the Calvert Group looked at builder policies and programs related to energy, building material, water and land use.
KB Home, which has a strong presence in the Valley, ranked No. 1 among the builders for its commitment to green building. Last year, the company announced plans to provide only Energy Star appliances in its homes, according to Calvert’s report. The builder has also developed an internal environmental task force to expand conservation efforts, the study shows.
Scottsdale-based Meritage Homes ranked No. 8 on the investment firm’s list. Calvert also reported that 12 of the 13 builders are now committed to building 100 percent Energy Star-qualified homes in certain markets.
Entrada del oro
A new subdivision near the base of the Superstition Mountains recently opened three model homes.
The development, called Escalante at Entrada del Oro, is one of two projects national homebuilder K. Hovnanian Homes is working on in the Gold Canyon area.
Located at U.S. 60 and El Camino Viejo, Escalante will include 93 houses. The one- and two-story homes will range in size from 1,600 square feet to 3,000 square feet with up to five bedrooms. Prices start at just under $180,000.
The builder is also working on another subdivision in the area called Paseo at Entrada del Oro. Homes range in size from 2,100 square feet to 3,300 square feet with prices starting at $240,000.