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Larry H. Miller Group acquires Daybreak and expands its property holdings



Larry H. Miller Group of Cos. Announced Monday that they are acquiring a large portion of Daybreak, the master-planned community in southern Jordan.

Miller Group’s real estate arm buys more than 1,300 undeveloped acres in the eclectic residential community at the western end of South Jordan, including ownership of existing commercial real estate as well as future commercial and residential development.

The terms of the transaction were not released. The purchase, officials noted, does not involve existing Daybreak homes.

The significant deal for Utah̵

7;s housing markets was revealed by Steve Starks, CEO of the Sandy-based Larry H. Miller Group, and Brendan Bosman, CEO of Värde Partners, the investment company in Minneapolis that bought most of Daybreak from Rio Tinto Kennecott in 2016.

Brad Holmes, president of Larry H. Miller Real Estate, said the takeover will expand the company’s ownership position within a portfolio now centered on sports, car dealers, a chain of cinemas, finance, insurance and healthcare.

“We are builders of communities and are committed to the continued success of this nationally ranked and thriving master-planned development,” Holmes said in a written statement. The company hoped to “creatively and proactively tackle regional growth through mixed use planning and development.”

Larry H. Miller Group continues to branch out

This is the second acquisition of its kind announced by the business empire when it sold its majority stake in the Utah Jazz in October to Ryan Smith, founder of the Provo-based customer management technology company Qualtrics.

Managers of the company founded by the late Jazz owner Larry Miller, who died in 2009, said in January that they had acquired Advanced Health Care Corp., an Idaho-born chain of advanced nursing, home health and hospice centers spread across Utah and seven other states.

Daybreak was built and opened in 2004 under the Oquirrh Mountains on a cleared section of Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine operations. It is designed to be sustainable and pedestrian-friendly, mixing a variety of housing types in denser neighborhoods and smaller yards than is typical of most Utah suburbs, with home clusters surrounded by ample open spaces.

Kennecott’s parent company, Rio Tinto, sold Värde Partners’ finished home, approximately 2,500 acres of undeveloped land, Oquirrh Lake and several major commercial buildings in June 2016, saying the divestment would generate “cash flow and flexibility as we streamline our business and focus on mining. . ”

Sales also coincided with a drop in commodity prices that had forced layoffs to Rio Tinto’s Utah operations.

Since it opened in 2004, Daybreak has sponged to include more than 6,000 homes with approximately 21,000 residents. It now ranks among the most successful master-planned communities in the country.

The sale of homes in the development of 4,000 hectares has grown dramatically in recent years, especially with increased housing demand and a national flight to the suburbs during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We look forward to building on this community’s already established success with the remaining undeveloped commercial area and the thousands of homes to be built within this regional destination area,” Starks said in a press release.

Elected officials welcome Daybreak sales

The deal drew praise from elected officials, including Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, who noted that much of the county’s population growth occurred in the southwestern part of the Salt Lake Valley.

Wilson said in a written statement that she “looks forward to working with Larry H. Miller Real Estate and other stakeholders to develop plans that support job growth, open spaces and recreation, strong infrastructure and community destinations.”

South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey added that with a significant portion of Daybreak still undeveloped, she was “excited” to welcome the Larry H. Miller team to her city “for the benefit of current and future homeowners, employers and businesses.”

Holmes said the acquisition “fits perfectly with our property development and property management capabilities.”

Under its ownership, Värde has sought to increase the mix of Daybreak housing while investing in key commercial areas in the suburbs, including an expansion of a University of Utah Hospital campus, opening a veteran outpatient clinic and luring a new Salt Lake County Library, opens this fall.

The real estate investment firm has also pushed forward plans for a large network of interconnected water canals and lakes within Daybreak, known as the watercourse facilities.

Värde said its investment approach had also helped boost home sales in the community. While Daybreak had already represented a remarkably large share of total sales in Salt Lake County homes before COVID-19, recent data shows that sales have increased from 452 in 2016 to 1,055 last year.

“We are proud of where society is today,” said Bosman, Värde’s CEO, “and we look forward to following Daybreak’s continued success under the management of Larry H. Miller Group.”


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