China-tied OC builder announces townhome project

Gated community will go up in “hidden gem” Placentia

Tom Baine, principal, Landsea Homes, in front of existing Landsea townhomes in Sunnyvale, CA (Landsea Homes, LinkedIn, iStock)
Tom Baine, principal, Landsea Homes, in front of existing Landsea townhomes in Sunnyvale, CA (Landsea Homes, LinkedIn, iStock)

A homebuilder affiliated with a Chinese real estate company plans to build a gated community of townhomes in Placentia in northern Orange County.

Landsea Homes Corporation announced its new project on Monday. The company, which keeps its headquarters in Newport Beach, said it chose Placentia largely because of its affordability.

“Placentia offers attainably priced housing options in contrast to its neighboring cities,” Tom Baine, Landsea’s Southern California division president, said in a release. “Placentia is truly a hidden gem in Orange County and an overall great place to live.”

Baine also suggested that the project would appeal to first-time homeowners and families looking for newly built homes.

Placenta, a city of roughly 52,000, is located a few miles northeast of Anaheim. Home prices there are far cheaper than coastal OC cities such as Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, where the current median listing price, according to Realtor.com, is over $3 million.

But the city’s housing market is roughly in line with those of its inland OC neighbors, which have risen the current region-wide hot streak. Placentia’s median listing price is $850,000, compared to neighboring Anaheim ($770,000) and Fullerton ($800,000). Orange, a few miles south, has a median of $900,000, and nearby Yorba Linda is at $1.2 million.

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Landsea’s plans call for 139 three-story homes, ranging from 806 to 1,349 square feet, in a community it’s calling Hudson in Placentia. It will feature a “living street” concept, emphasizing space for pedestrians and cyclists, and amenities such as fire pits, bocce ball courts and a dog park. The new community’s address was not immediately clear.

Landsea Homes Corporation has projects throughout California and in Arizona, Florida, Texas and the New York metro area. Homes in another one of its OC communities, in Lake Forest, begin in the $700,000s; condos in its Weehawken, New Jersey, development begin in the $800,000s.

Landsea Homes went public via a SPAC merger early this year and now has a market cap of $388 million, down roughly 20 percent in recent months. The company is part of the much larger Landsea Group, a real estate development company founded in Nanjing, China in 2001.

Landsea Group started its business by building thousands of homes a year in mainland China, Hong Kong and Germany; in 2014, it expanded into the U.S. by starting Landsea Homes in California.

“The Chinese housing market is slowing down. In the U.S., it’s coming up,” John Ho, Landsea Homes’s longtime CEO, said at the subsidiary’s downtown L.A. launch party in 2014.

In September, Landsea Homes closed on nearly 500 homesites for another master planned community in San Bernardino County.

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