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SummerHill top bidder for city-owned land in Fremont

July 13, 2015 | Silicon Valley Business Journal

By Nathan Donato-Weinstein

SummerHill Homes has beaten out nine other bidders to win an approximately 7-acre slice of Fremont, part of a city sell-off being undertaken to help finance city priorities in the Warm Springs and downtown areas.

The San Ramon-based homebuilder and developer bid $22.35 million — just shy of $3.2 million per acre — for the site in the city's Mission Creek area, according to a city staff report. The area is located near the Palm Avenue crossing of I-680, and is zoned for 31 single-family housing units.

Fremont approved a plan in 2013 to sell off 10 city-owned parcels, including the Palm Avenue site, to bring in revenue that could be used to help build out the Warm Springs and downtown projects. The strategy was identified by consultant Keyser Marston after the demise of redevelopment agencies across California in 2011, eliminating a major source of financing for city projects.

The parcels are underused by the city, but some of them are considered excellent residential sites, and the current appetite for residential land made this a good time to sell. A 2012 CBRE appraisal said the land could bring in between $80 million and $94 million. Last year, Citation Homes was the highest bidder on a 4.5 acre site, paying $13.15 million for the land at 37350 Sequoia Road.

The land the city is selling to SummerHill was acquired in 1999 as part of a larger parcel to build a large park. But acquisition of land elsewhere in the city for athletic fields meant that not all of the Palm Avenue land was needed for park land, making the 7 acres available for sale. You can read more about the site in the staff report, here.

Last year, in an effort to increase the land's marketability, the city approved a rezoning of the 7-acre site to allow 31 detached single-family homes "and imposes Regulations and Design Guidelines to direct future development of the site to be consistent with the development, intensity and pattern in the surrounding single-family residential neighborhood," according to a staff report.

The land auction was held June 11 and saw 10 bidders register, the report says. The opening bid was the appraised value of $15.5 million, and SummerHill's bid beat out the next highest-bidder by $100,000 after 36 bids, according to a staff report. (The other bidders were not named.)

SummerHill already has a project under way in Fremont — a 24-townhome development called Mission Place at Arcos Common and Driscoll Road. The city has been a top choice of homebuilders, with KB Home last year winning Patterson Ranch, a massive single-family development site. In the Warm Springs district, several major residential projects are in the planning stage, including massive ones from Lennar and Toll Bros.

The city council is slated to accept SummerHill's bid at its meeting July 14.


SummerHill Homes is a nationally-recognized home builder focusing on the unique needs of the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. SHH has earned recognition and respect as one of the nation’s premier residential community builders. The company is renowned for developing specialized single-family detached and multi-family housing communities in established residential settings throughout California. Since its inception in 1976, SummerHill Homes’s goals have been to provide quality homes for its customers, Communities of Distinction for cities, and sound business opportunities for its partners.


SummerHill Apartment Communities is the leader in providing quality, smart growth, multi-family rental housing and mixed-use developments located throughout the western United States. SHAC defines excellence in customer relationships, the quality of products and in every aspect of operations. Criteria for site development are highly selective to meet the company’s objectives. SHAC uses extensive market analysis to identify housing needs, and then customizes each development to achieve the highest potential.

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3000 Executive Parkway
San Ramon, CA 94583

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FX (925) 244-7501


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