By Jack Stubbs
On Tuesday, July 31st, 74 acres of vacant land in Maple Valley sold for $10 million, according to public records filed with King County. The buyer of the parcels was Lennar Northwest, a homebuilder based in Federal Way. The sellers was William Ruth based in Federal Way. The transaction was recorded on August 2nd.
Lennar Northwest did not respond to calls for comment about the transaction.
The sale was for two parcels totaling approximately 74 acres of vacant land that is zoned for single-family use, according to public records. The plot of land is just south of SE 288th St. in Maple Valley and adjacent to Lake Sawyer. The land is adjacent to the Black Diamond Natural Area and north of Lake Sawyer Regional Park.
According to the city of Maple Valley’s web site, in early 2017, a Notice of Application and SEPA DNS (Determination of Non-Significance) was filed for one of the parcels included in the recent transaction (with the co-owners of the parcel listed as William and Susan Ruth). The notice, entitled Rainier Ridge Preliminary Plat, states that “on March 7, 2017, the Department of Public Works and Community Development received formal application for land-use review and approval of the a proposal to subdivide a 14-acre site into 72 lots for construction of single-family dwelling units.” According to the application, the site is zoned for six residential units per acre.
Originally founded in 1954, Lennar Northwest is a national homebuilder that builds multifamily, condo, co-op, rental and single-family properties, according to the company’s web site. Lennar operates in 21 states and 49 markets nationally. Throughout the Puget Sound region, the company has residential communities in Everrett, Seattle, Renton and Milton, among other locations.
In recent months there was another large-scale land sale two miles south of the Maple Valley property. In early January 2018, home construction company CalAtlantic Homes, an entity affiliated with Arlington, Virginia-based CalAtlantic Group Inc., acquired 136 acres of undeveloped land from Bellevue-based Oakpointe Communities, a developer and homebuilder that CalAtlantic purchased in the summer of 2017, for $18.6 million.
The land acquisition represents a new chapter in the relationship between CalAtlantic Homes and Oakpointe Communities, and the property is CalAtlantic’s Ten Trails development, a master plan community located in Black Diamond. According to the Ten Trails development web site, the project, located at 23201 Roberts Dr., is currently under construction. The development, which will open in 2018, will feature 190,000 square feet of retail space. According to the web site, the ground-up community will feature modern homes, local restaurants, parks and green spaces.