Morgan Stanley in real estate venture with major home builder

Lennar, one of the country’s largest home builders, and Morgan Stanley Real Estate, a division of Morgan Stanley & Co., have formed a strategic land investment venture to “acquire, develop, manage and sell residential real estate,” according to a joint news release from the companies.

The new investment venture includes a diversified portfolio of land from Lennar. The properties acquired by the new entity consist of approximately 11,000 home sites in 32 communities in the United States.

The land portfolio includes a mix of raw land as well as partially and fully developed home sites in both active and future communities. The communities are located in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada and New Jersey.

Lennar acquired a 20 percent ownership interest and 50 percent voting rights; according to the companies, as of Sept. 30, the acquired properties had a net book value of approximately $1.3 billion, and the sales price was $525 million.

Lennar will manage the land investment venture's operations and will receive fees for its services.

“This transaction provides us with increased liquidity and flexibility at an opportune time,” said Stuart Miller, president and CEO of Lennar.

Lennar, based in Miami, builds homes in 18 states and offers financial services to home buyers.