Toll Bros.: Back to the suburbs

The Horsham-based luxury homebuilder Toll Bros. Inc. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit had declined almost 70 percent. (File photo)

Even with Toll Bros.' recent record selling homes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Center City, and other urban centers, the Horsham-based company has continued buying up suburban property for eventual conversion into the next generation of McMansions, as home prices slowly rebound from the late 2000s collapse, while failed projects remain cheap and ripe for conversion.

Last week Toll Bros.' Gibraltar Capital and Asset Management LLC subsidiary said it has spent $33 million buying four packages of loans gone bad, at discount prices, from banks holding property in Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Georgia.

Toll didn't list the properties -- which it said include "retail shopping centers, residential land, and golf courses" -- but Gibraltar boss Roger Brush told me one of the tracts, "capable of being develped into a residential subdivision should we end up with title," is in Chester County, where Toll is also managing the Applebrook Meadows project in Malvern, the Preserve at Chadds Ford, Creekside at Byers Station in Chester Springs, plus big homes at the former du Pont estate north of Newtown Square in neighboring Delco.