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Lewis Offers Incentive for Renters to Purchase

March 15, 1987

Lewis Homes has not given up building apartments because of the new tax law; in fact, this year the firm plans to build about 500 more apartment units in its Terra Vista planned community in Rancho Cucamonga, where the total is already nearly 1,000.

In addition to apartments, Lewis will offer for-rent, single-family detached and duplex housing, according to Randall Lewis, executive vice president of the Upland-based firm.

Renters in Terra Vista qualify for a "rent-to-own" program modeled roughly on the airlines' frequent flyer program, providing for a $100 per month discount on a new Lewis home for each consecutive month the tenant has lived in a Lewis apartment, up to a maximum of $2,400. Lewis said that a third of the renters in the firm's apartments chose them because of the incentive.

"We're going for what some marketing people have called the 'transitional' segment--upscale reluctant renters and people saving up to buy their first homes," Lewis explained. He added that the firm's emphasis on apartments in Rancho Cucamonga and Chino Hills is a fairly recent development that has meshed well with the company's traditional emphasis on for-sale housing.

"When it is all built out, we expect to have 4,000 to 5,000 rental units in Terra Vista," Lewis said.

The privately held firm, headed by Randall Lewis' father, Ralph M. Lewis, ranked 31st in the nation among 482 firms surveyed by Professional Builder magazine last July. The Lewis firm ranked sixth out of 143 builders in the The Times' 15th annual report on home building published March 16, 1986 in the Real Estate section.

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