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Newland Awarded Developer of the Year


Newland Communities Delivers Sustainability and Livable Communities

With more than four decades of experience, Newland Communities commitment to green and sustainable development has rightfully earned them the honors of representing Green Home Builder magazine’s Developer of the Year.

Newland Communities founder Bob McLeod joined Newland’s predecessor Genstar Land Company in 1968 as President, and eventually earned his promotion to Chief Executive Officer. After almost 20 years with Genstar, the company was acquired and the U.S. property division was up for sale, allowing Newland Communities to emerge. Through a partnership with American General, the company got its start, but by 1994 the partnership dissipated. Newland’s principals formed Newland Associates and Newland Capital Advisors, making them the sole land development advisor to the California Public Employees Retirement Systems for residential acquisition and development. 

With over 45 years of experience in developing residential housing, Newland Communities has endured the fluctuation of the housing industry. Their longevity and high quality products have garnered them attention from different venerable organizations and media publications. For example, Newland Communities was awarded Developer of the Year by Builder and Developer magazine in 2010 despite the tumultuous state of the housing industry. Newland also ranked #1 and #4 in best-selling communities in the country by Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO), a leading company following real estate trends and issues.

Newland has managed to stay afloat through their well-envisioned and well-planned designs. Before approaching the daunting task of developing, they ask themselves the important questions: What amenities will individuals or families who seek to live in this area look for? What factors nearby will make them choose to live here, as opposed to elsewhere?

More than 200 individual professionals, ranging from real estate experience, to finance, entitlement, planning and engineering, community design, construction legal, research, marketing, and sales carry out Newland Communities’ vision of delivering sustainable homes.

Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Newland Communities takes immense pride in developing and building communities that are truly reflective of the way people choose to live today. Newland is conscious of the ever changing idea of a “home;” whether they are building a community to attract newlyweds, couple seeking retirement, or someone within that spectrum, they know the term ‘home’ is subjective.

Their award-winning projects span throughout the country, with offices in many metropolitan U.S. cities that are established, up-and-coming, or are experiencing a higher demand for affordable and livable housing. Newland Communities operates from coast-to-coast with extremely diverse projects, and tap into 22 markets across 14 states including Arizona, California, Georgia, and Florida where they are currently developing communities. Their portfolio spans more than just geography, though: it spans amenities, types of families, and range of homes that are catering to people with vastly different lifestyles.

Their award-winning projects span throughout the country, with offices in many metropolitan U.S. cities that are established, up-and-coming, and are experiencing a higher demand for affordable and livable housing.

Another thing constantly on their minds is sustainability. Long before the sustainable fad overtook the housing industry, Newland Communities was already putting a great deal of importance on creating long-term sustainable developments. For decades they have sought ways to protect and restore the land they are developing. By preserving or improving wetlands and areas of natural topography, they protect the rich history and traditions that inherently belong to it. Developing land and integrating them within the community plan ensures healthy living opportunities for both future residents and the environment.

“It is our philosophy that true sustainability is conceived in the planning stages of development,” said Rick Harcrow, senior vice president of operations for Newland Communities.

As a testament to their sustainability, Newland’s FishHawk Ranch in Tampa, Fla. was honored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for Development of the Year. For Newland, this award exemplified their commitment to creating sustainable and livable communities.

Newland writes, “FishHawk Ranch has numerous systems, practices, and policies in place including the preservation of ecosystems and sophistication circulation designs in its utility systems. More specifically, it has preserved/provided aquifer recharge areas in uplands and ensured that nearly all streets are lined with native trees.”

Developing healthy living opportunities within the community plan ensures well-being of both future residents and the environment.

FishHawk Ranch was also the first Tampa residential community to be certified green by the Florida Green Building Coalition in 2009. “Being recognized by the NAHB really reinforces that we are continuously striving to create enduring communities,” adds Harcrow.

Newland Communities rolodex includes a variety of national and well-respected homebuilders. Working with builders they offer an array of home styles and designs to choose from, continually pushing themselves to create communities that are as unique and special as to the people who will be soon calling them ‘home.’

Providing desired community amenities is one of the many skills Newland Communities brings to the table as developers. Newland believes that amenities such as swimming pools, parks, hiking paths, and more are important to the homeowners and important to the idea of creating an engaging environment for all residents to enjoy and bond together. Newland understands that community amenities change from state to state, community to community, and can even change from city to city. Their designs are a reflection of the local geography, diversity, and mirror the desires of people whom will be attracted to live there.

Long before sustainability overtook the housing industry, Newland Communities was putting a great deal of importance on creating long-term sustainable developments..

Newland Communities is responsible for the development, investment, management, and advisory for communities they create. Over the years they have successfully acquired a large diversified portfolio including Genstar Land Co. in 2000, Terrabrook in 2003, and 28 CalPERS’ residential assets in 2011.

More than 200 individual professionals with a wide range of experience in real estate, finance, entitlement, planning and engineering, community design, construction legal, research, marketing, and sales carry out Newland Communities’ vision of delivering sustainable and livable homes. Teamwork and transparency are what make Newland stand out in the housing industry. They are well known for developing strong business relationships and carrying out the visions of builders.

Most recently Newland Communities celebrated their 10-year anniversary for developing Estrella, a master-planned community in the West Valley that started in 2005. The Estrella development is perfect for those with a penchant for outdoor activities. Phoenix provides the community with a beautiful desert setting, stellar mountain views, and an abundance of open space for outdoor activities; these outdoor activities include as fishing, sailing, paddle boating, and an overall indoor/outdoor resort-style living with plentiful luxury amenities.

“While we are thrilled about our accomplishments, we are always looking ahead and are excited for what the future will bring,” said Bill Olsen, senior vice president and division manager for Newland Communities.

Sergio Flores is an Assistant Editor for Green Home Builder magazine. He may be reached at be reached at
sergio@penpubinc.com.