A Canadian developer is taking control of the planned community near Marina del Rey. As part of the agreement, which was reported in the LAT and WSJ, Brookfield Homes will pay more than $250 million for the remaining 110 acres of undeveloped land. The company is planning 600 to 800 homes, 1,500 apartment units, and a retail village that includes shops, a supermarket, and a movie theater. Seller is Playa Capital, a development company that's owned by a group of pension funds and Wall Street firms. Playa Vista has other projects in the works, including the reuse of buildings once occupied by mogul Howard Hughes' aviation company. From the Journal:
Developments like these--smaller home groupings, mixed with commercial uses and wedged between urban areas--are becoming more popular partly because of changing ideas about land-use planning in places like coastal California. During the housing boom of the last decade, builders' mantra was "Drive till you qualify"--a slogan that described a business strategy of slapping up hundreds of cheap homes on inexpensive land far from city centers. If buyers went far enough into the suburbs, they could eventually qualify for a mortgage. But developers today are looking more for "infill" locations like Playa Vista. "It's an attempt to push growth back into urban cores," says Michael Lea, a professor of real-estate finance at San Diego State University.