Starwood Land Ventures Forms Joint Venture with Cold River Development Inc.

(BRADENTON, FL) - Starwood Land Ventures LLC, a little-heard-of Florida-based residential real estate investment firm, is betting the demand for housing will be intense once the nation bounces back from the current economic recession.

The Bradenton, FL-based firm has just closed a deal for the acquisition of 2,500 homesites in Arizona, California and Florida. The company is looking for even more lots.

"We are confident that our latest asset addition provides the opportunity for solid long-term investment," says Michael R. Forsum, Starwood's West Region President. "These properties are in our select markets in attractive locations of sought-after regions that have experienced high housing demand and are poised for lasting growth."

Forsum says all of the residential land procured in the three-state purchase is located in high-growth areas. "The majority of the homesites are substantially complete" and ready for construction, he says.

The acquisitions were funded by Greenwich, CT-based Starwood Capital Group Global which is run by Barry Sternlicht, the former CEO and founder by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Starwood Capital Group is a separate business venture for Mr. Sternlicht, which controls Starwood Land Ventures, according to the company's web site.

Forsum says Starwood Land principals and affiliates have participated in the development of over 75,000 residential properties with a sell-out value of over $15 billion.

The company operates by forming partnerships with builders, developers, lenders and land holders. Forsum says Starwood also purchases debt and specializes in the acquisition, entitlement and development of large, master-planned communities, some offering mixed-use components.

"Starwood Land principals receive returns only when our partners and investors, receive theirs, aligning incentives and enhancing returns," says Forsum.

Starwood's recently partnered with Landquest of Raleigh, NC; The Penrose Group of Northern Virginia and Riverway Properties of Houston, TX.

Prior to his current Starwood position, Forsum headed Taylor Morrison's western region for seven years. Taylor Morrison was formerly Taylor Woodrow. Forsum also held previous executive roles at KB Homes and Ryland Homes.

Michael J. Moser is Starwood's East Region President. Like Forsum, he is a Taylor Woodrow alumnus. During his 13-year career at Taylor Woodrow, he served as President of the U.S. Tower and Southeast Florida divisions.

Besides Arizona, California and Florida, Starwood Land Ventures also has homesites in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Virginia.

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