The DaimlerChrysler Proving Grounds just northwest of Phoenix have been sold. If you’ve never been by this place, it’s HUGE (almost 5,500 acres). Selling price? A cool $312 million dollars.
Toll Brothers, Meritage Homes and Simon Property Group Joint Venture Purchases 5,485-Acre Land Parcel in Phoenix’s Northwest Valley
$312 Million Transaction Is Largest In Arizona History
HORSHAM, Pa., Jan. 12, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) — A joint venture consisting of Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE:TOL), which is the managing member, Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE:MTH), and Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG) has purchased a 5,485-acre land parcel in northwest Phoenix from DaimlerChrysler Corporation (NYSE:DCX) for $312 million. According to research published by The Arizona Republic, this represents the largest dollar value land transaction recorded in Arizona history.
The Maricopa County property, which DaimlerChrysler currently utilizes as a vehicle endurance testing and development facility, is bound by 183rd Avenue on the east, 211th Avenue on the west, Dove Valley on the south and Joy Ranch Road on the north. DaimlerChrysler will continue to lease the property for the next few years, in order to plan and accommodate for the orderly transition of its testing operations.
Toll Brothers and Meritage Homes each plan to build a significant number of homes on the site. Simon Property Group, Inc. has the option to purchase a substantial portion of the commercial property. Other parcels may be sold to third parties. Initial plans call for a mixed-use master planned community, which will include approximately 4,840 acres of single-family homes and attached homes. Approximately 645 acres of commercial and retail development will include schools, community amenities and open space. Initial homes sales are tentatively scheduled to begin in 2009. According to the approved General Plan, the site allows between 15,000 to 31,000 homes.
Robert I. Toll, chairman and chief executive officer of Toll Brothers, Inc., stated: “We are thrilled to have been chosen by DaimlerChrysler and to have teamed up with two excellent partners to develop this fabulous piece of real estate. The northwest area of Phoenix has experienced unprecedented popularity and this particular parcel is a highly coveted site.
“The combined expertise of our team makes for a strong partnership as we move forward to develop this landmark community. Toll Brothers is a Fortune 500 Company and the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes. Meritage Homes is a Fortune 1000 home builder headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona and Dallas, with great history, experience and knowledge in the metro Phoenix market. Simon Property Group is the largest publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) in North America and the country’s largest owner, developer and manager of high quality retail real estate.”
Steven J. Hilton, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Meritage Homes, stated: “Growth in and around the Phoenix area has been tremendous in the past decade. With more than 20 years of home building experience in the Phoenix area, Meritage Homes is proud to have participated in this development, which has contributed to our impressive growth rate for the past five-year period. We are very enthusiastic about this opportunity and look forward to working with Maricopa County and the City of Surprise, as well as Toll Brothers and Simon Property Group, to create an outstanding community in which to live, work, shop and play.”