Toll Brothers, the nation’s largest luxury homebuilder, said Thursday that it will buy half of the nearly 2,379-home project at the Shea Baker Ranch development in Lake Forest, infusing a premium niche into what will become the city’s largest home development.
Plans to begin grading at the 386-acre site in South Orang County are expected to begin in September.
Model homes in the first seven communities planned by Shea Homes and Toll Brothers could be toured by prospective buyers by the end of 2013. The grand opening of the first phase is projected for spring 2014.
The Shea Baker development is planned for 387 acres on the city’s northeast side next to Irvine. The project will be bordered by the 241 toll road on the north, Bake Parkway, Dimension, Alton and what will be the expansion of Rancho Parkway on the south and unincorporated land on the west.
At least 20 new neighborhoods with Spanish, Mediterranean and California Eclectic-style homes, condos and apartments are planned for land that was once under the flight path of the former El Toro Marine base. There will be seven neighborhood parks, one of which will include a dog park, two linear parks and a 7-acre community park. At least 25,000 square feet of commercial space is also planned. The land now is a mix of nursery, agricultural and vacant land.