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Homebuilder Woes: John Laing Looking At Funding Options

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Not the most surprising news: Irvine-based John Laing Homes, one of the county's biggest privately-held homebuilders and the developer behind the now-paused Madrone project in Hollywood, has laid off staff and is reviewing funding options, according to the Associated Press. The company is owned by Dubai’s Emaar Properties, and over the weekend, Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper quoted a spokesperson that stated the company is "reviewing its operations due to market conditions." Sacramento-based news channel News10 also discovered that a handful of John Laing sales offices appear to be closed around that city. A spokesperson tells the news channel that the company is "reviewing operations based on market conditions and will determine whether sales will continue. Some offices may be closed. It is not clear on whether all or part of the Sacramento area operations will be closed." Additionally, a John Laing spokesperson tells the Associated Press that the company "assures new homebuyers who are currently in the purchasing process that deposits are secure."

Closer to Los Angeles, the company is behind the Element (pictured) and Indigo in the Marina Del Rey arts district, and the Icon project in Playa Vista. Additionally, Emaar Properties purchased the Beverly West project back in 2007. The partnership of that project is slightly different, according to real estate agent Brian Adler, who is representing the project. Adler tells us that Emaar Properties directly controls that project, rather than John Laing.

Calling the Element sales office yesterday, we were told to contact the main corporate office for more information.

And more about Emaar via the Associated Press: "Emaar is Dubai's largest publicly listed developer. It is nearing completion on what is already the world's tallest building in the Persian Gulf boomtown and is developing projects throughout the Arab world.

The acquisition [of John Laing] has been a drag on Emaar's earnings. In October, the company wrote off $204 million related to the deal. It justified the decision then as "prudent in view of the current challenging times for all businesses, especially the financial and real estate sector in the U.S.'"
· Homebuilder's Sacramento Future Uncertain [News10]
· Emaar subsidiary John Laing cuts staff [The National]
· John Laing Homes reviewing all options for funding [AP]
· Hollywood's Madrone Project Hits The Skids [Curbed LA]