Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hedge fund buys TOUSA's Arizona properties for $42.3 million

Hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson's RERF Acquisitions Corp. has paid $42.3 million for TOUSA's land and model homes in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada. TOUSA, parent of Engle Homes, filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and has been liquidating assets.

The deal gets Paulson prime lots in communities across metro Phoenix. The largest Arizona asset is the 1,840-acre Red River community in Pinal County, where 6,900 homes are planned.

Paulson, known for successfully betting on investments tied to the real-estate crash, also acquired land in Peoria's Vistancia, Buckeye's Verrado Gilbert's Layton Lakes, Chandler's Gila Springs, Scottsdale's DC Ranch, Goodyear's Estrella Mountain Ranch, Phoenix's Blossom Hills, Pinal County's Entrada, Gilbert's Power Ranch, the town of Maricopa's Tortosa and Rancho Cabrillo developments, and Surprise's Sierra Verde.

Paulson also purchased 22 lots in Peoria's Cibola Vista as part of the deal, but immediately resold that land to Meritage Homes for $1.54 million.

Gary Jones of Scottsdale-based land-investment and -development firm The Peters Group negotiated the deal.

• Industry leader dies: Gregg Alpert, managing principal of Phoenix-based Evergreen Development, died unexpectedly Saturday.

Alpert, 45, was an active leader in the Valley's real-estate industry. He was a past chairman of Valley Partnership and held leadership roles with the Urban Land Institute and International Council of Shopping Centers.

"Gregg Alpert was seen as the past, present and future of the Valley's commercial-real-estate industry," said Richard Hubbard, chief executive of Valley Partnership. "His commanding presence and warm smile will be missed by everyone."

Leo Bauman of Wells Fargo's Corporate Properties Group said, "Shocking news to those of us who knew Gregg as a friend, businessman and partner. Gregg was in prime physical condition and greatly enjoyed the athleticism of the outdoors."

The Alpert family has asked that in lieu of flowers or other gifts, donations be made to the Evergreen Foundation, 2390 E. Camelback Road, Suite 410, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Temple Solel in Paradise Valley.

by Catherine Reagor The Arizona Republic Sept. 29, 2010 12:00 AM

Hedge fund buys TOUSA's Arizona properties for $42.3 million

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