RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — Lewis Homes Enterprises has paid $17 million for a tract of land in Rancho Santa Margarita where it will build a 500-home development with a cumulative value of $100 million, the company said Monday.
The project, one of the largest in the Upland-based development company's history, will include homes ranging from $160,000 to $270,000. Model homes are scheduled to open in the fall, Executive Vice President Randall W. Lewis said, and finished units should go on sale early in 1997.
Industry observers described the deal as further proof that Orange County's housing market is on the rebound.
"The demand for new product is very strong, employment numbers are up and Orange County's bankruptcy has taken a back seat," said Jeff Meyers, president of the Meyers Group, an Irvine-based real estate data firm. "This is another testimony to the fact that major builders have confidence in this market."
"Right now, Orange County is one of the strongest markets in the state," Lewis said. "And it's especially hot in southern Orange County. That's why we're willing to make this big commitment."