One of Southern California's best-known home building names is embarking on a major apartment project in partnership with a wholly owned giant subsidiary of American Express.
Deane Properties, newly formed in Newport Beach, with Larry Deane as managing general partner, will start work this month on a $28-million, 496-unit apartment complex in Redlands in a joint venture with the Balcor Co., of Skokie, Ill., one of the nation's largest apartment owner-managers.
Deane is the son of pioneer Southland builder Ben Deane, whose family has been involved in home construction for 40 years.
"Deane Properties will focus exclusively on the joint-venture development of apartments, industrial and commercial properties," Larry Deane said. For Balcor/American Express, the partnership represents the first move in its expansion into the West Coast. It has just moved its western regional offices from Irvine to expanded quarters in Newport Beach, at 5000 Birch St., where it will hold an open house Thursday.
Nationally, Balcor owns 545 properties valued at $4.5 billion, including 65,000 apartment units, of which it manages 20,000 units in states east of the Mississippi River. It is among the nation's largest real estate syndicators.
The 27-acre apartment project site is at the northwest corner of Barton Road and Alabama Street, and will include a 4,500-square-foot clubhouse, three swimming pools, three spas, a cushioned running course, tennis and volleyball courts and extensive landscaping. One- and two-bedroom units will feature separate master bedroom suites.
Mike Kerr, Balcor's vice president of acquisitions, said a $25-million multifamily revenue bond, financed through California First Bank and guaranteed by the Bank of Tokyo, has been secured for the project.
"Prior to the partnership with Deane Properties, Balcor has focused its activities on the purchase of existing properties and 100% ownership of to-be-built projects with guaranteed development and management contracts," he said. "Now, we are branching out into joint ventures with a 'build, hold and own' development operation. We're here to stay in the western states, looking for good quality properties and joint ventures."
The Deane/Balcor joint venture is exploring new income properties to develop, including commercial and industrial ventures.
Deane Properties is located at 1451 Quail St., Newport Beach.