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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Lennar spends $33M to develop resi portion of controversial Alhambra site

City Council granted approvals for 125 townhomes last year
By Natalie Hoberman | August 28, 2018 05:00PM

Care center with Lennar exec Stuart Miller (Credit: Marengo Avenue Water Brigade)

Nearly a year after a controversial project secured approvals, a new developer is stepping onto the scene in Alhambra.

Lennar Corp., a Miami-based mega-developer, has paid $32.5 million to acquire eight acres in Alhambra to develop a new condominium complex at 1428 S. Marengo Avenue, The Real Deal has learned. It’s currently home to a senior care center, but entitled to become 125 townhomes and new medical offices, named Camellia Court.

A source familiar with the deal said that the seller was a partnership between Irvine-based developer St. Clair Partners and TAG-2 Medical Investment Group. The sale closed July 24, property records show. St. Clair, led by chief executive Steven St. Clair, and TAG-2 will retain the other four acres on the site, with plans to develop the medical assets, the source added.

Neither of the parties responded to requests for comment.

The joint venture was originally planning to raze the senior housing community, 268 trees and a 91-year-old chapel to make room for a new condominium development. In its place, they proposed 125 townhomes, a smaller nursing facility and medical office spaces, the Pasadena Star-News previously reported.

Neighborhood residents and local activist groups soon rallied against the project. They argued the loss of the trees would be detrimental to the local ecosystem.

After several protests, the owner and developer agreed to preserve the church as-is, and save 81 trees. The Alhambra City Council then unanimously approved the project in September 2017.

Lennar, a publicly-traded company led by executive chairman Stuart Miller and newly appointed CEO Rick Beckwitt, is one of the largest homebuilders in the country. As of April, the company controlled about 250,000 homesites and 1,300 communities in 49 markets across 21 states.