Homebuilder Lennar Corp. (LEN) finalized a deal to acquire more than 2,700 plots of land, for building new homes in 38 communities across Florida, from residential real estate investment firm Starwood Land Ventures. The land was part of the Florida portfolio of the now-bankrupt builder Tousa that Starwood acquired at auction in late January. The sites are located in entry-level, master planned and golf course communities in the Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Southeast Florida markets. Lennar said it plans to build single-family homes, townhomes and garden villas priced from the low $100,000s. “We view this deal as a major step forward for Lennar’s growth in the state of Florida,” said Lennar regional president Fred Rothman. Miami-based Lennar posted a $35.6m profit in its fiscal year Q409 that ended Nov. 30 and will benefit from a $320m net operating loss (NOL) carryback tax refund. And earlier this month, Lennar said it bought ownership of two loan portfolios with a combined unpaid balance of $3.05bn. The portfolios hold 5,500 distressed residential and commercial real estate loans from 22 failed bank receiverships. Starwood Land ventures is the Florida-based subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Starwood Capital Group, the private investment firm that spun off the Starwood Property Trust (STWD) real estate investment trust (REIT). Last week, that REIT purchased a $503m portfolio of performing commercial mortgages from financial services firm Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF). Write to Austin Kilgore.

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