San Diego Home Builder Files for Bankruptcy


by Roberta Murphy

As a sad ending to this dismal year in San Diego real estate, Barratt America, a prestigious home builder headquartered in Carlsbad, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Christmas Eve. One of San Diego’s larger local builders, Barratt America has reduced its staff from about 140 employees to around 15, but hopes to resume new home construction again in 2010.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Bank of America has foreclosed on seven of Barratt’s subdivisions and condo developments and will be taking back four other projects in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Bank of America claims Barratt owes them around $79 million.

Excluded from this high-profile San Diego bankruptcy will be Santee’s proposed 1400-home Fanita Ranch development, which is part of a separate limited partnership. It is not out of the woods, though, because Guaranty Banks has issued a Notice of Default, claiming that Barratt owes them nearly $27 million

Barratt projects lost to Bank of America include Magnolia Estates in Carlsbad, Nantucket in Encinitas, Aragon in La Mesa and award-winning City Square in Escondido.