DR Horton Goes All In with $60 Million Deal for 1,959 Developed Lots at Tartesso

Article originally posted on Business Real Estate Weekly on June 25, 2017

In what can be viewed as a supreme vote of confidence in the West Valley housing market, D.R. Horton Inc. in Phoenix (Kim Oium, division pres.) paid $60.259 million ($30,760 per lot) to acquire 1,959 finished lots within the Tartesso community in Buckeye. The seller in the cash transaction was Tartesso Partners LLC, a joint venture formed by Quantum Capital LLC in Phoenix (Dave Cornwall, Chris Barr and Ryan Kealy, principals), Bixby Bridge Capital LLC in Northbrook, Ill. (David Colburn, managing principal) and Dolphin Partners Inc. in Irvine, Calif. (Kevin Pitts, principal).


The home sites purchased by D.R. Horton are the last remaining finished lots within the 3,375-lot Tartesso community, which is located north of Interstate 10 and has a main entrance at the northwest corner of Indian School Road and Sun Valley Parkway. D.R. Horton previously acquired 425 lots at Tartesso in four purchases, including two others from the Quantum joint venture accounting for 250 of the home sites. Since opening models last August, the builder has sold 135 residences within the Buckeye master-plan both under the D.R. Horton brand and its Express Homes housing line. There are six lot sizes in the newly-acquired acreage, with home sites averaging 5,160 sq. ft. (43×120), 5,760 sq. ft. (48×120), 6,360 sq. ft. (53×120), 6,960 sq. ft. (58×120), 7,875 sq. ft. (63×125) and 9,100 sq. ft. (70×130). The D.R. Horton residences range from 2,100 sq. ft. to 2,700 sq. ft. and are priced starting at $192,000. The entry-level Express Homes residences range from 1,400 sq. ft. to 2,500 sq. ft. and are priced starting at $156,000. D.R. Horton has been averaging 20 home sales per month at Tartesso while building on only the 43- and the 48-foot-wide lots. Industry observers believe that already impressive pace will escalate when the builder adds additional lot product. Although the Quantum Capital venture has sold all of the finished lots at Tartesso, another entity comprised of the three companies still owns 10,000 + acres in that immediate area. In September 2016, BREW reported Bixby Bridge and a Dolphin Partners-Quantum Capital company forming Buckeye Tartesso LLC and paying $80 million ($7,453 per acre blended average) to acquire 10,734 acres in Buckeye that is approved for 41,000 + homes. The sprawling acreage, comprised of numerous parcels located north of Interstate 10 along both sides of Sun Valley Parkway, was purchased from multiple entities formed by investor Gerald Bisgrove of Stardust Cos. in Scottsdale. Tartesso Partners LLC also acquired the 1,959 finished lots it sold to D.R. Horton and the prior 250 home sites it sold to the builder in multiple acquisitions from companies formed by Bisgrove. In April 2009, the joint venture partners paid $11.078 million ($7,250 per lot) to acquire 1,528 of the finished lots in two purchases from Bisgrove-led entities. D.R. Horton made its first buy at Tartesso in April 2016 when it paid $1.926 + million ($19,264 per lot) to acquire 100 finished home sites from the Quantum Capital/Bixby Bridge/Dolphin Partners venture. Last October, the builder paid $3.822 + million ($25,483 per lot) to purchase another 150 finished lots from Tartesso Partners LLC. Another 139 lots D.R. Horton owns at Tartesso were acquried in two deals totaling $2.808 million ($20,200 per lot). The sellers of those developed home sites were companies formed by Aspen Wealth Management Inc. in Overland Park, Kan. In January of this year, the builder paid $720,000 ($20,000 per lot) to buy 36 lots at Tartesso from REO Funding Solutions V LLC in Atlanta, Ga. D.R. Horton in Phoenix is a division of D.R. Horton Inc. in Arlington, Tex. (NYSE:DHI). As part of the deal with D.R. Horton, Quantum Capital is remaining as master developer and the declarant of the Home Owners Association at Tartesso. Prior to D.R. Horton starting its subdivisions at Tartesso, other builders completed and sold just under 1,000 homes within the Buckeye project. Since 2008, the Bixby Bridge/Dolphin-Quantum venture has purchased roughly 5,900 finished lots and about 1,700 partially-developed home sites located in Maricopa and Pinal counties. The partnership has now sold over 3,000 of the fully developed lots and has multiple sales under contract to sell additional finished home sites to Valley builders. Cornwall says his company is looking to buy more residential and mixed-use land parcels that are in the path of growth in both Maricopa and Pinal counties.