Biz Buzz

Fresno builder buys Mangano Homes from local developer

San Luis Obispo - The TribuneMarch 4, 2014 

Wathen Castanos Hybrid Homes, a Fresno-based builder, has acquired Mangano Homes, a developer of commercial and residential projects in San Luis Obispo and Visalia.

The deal, which closed Friday, was in the works for about seven months. The privately held companies declined to disclose terms.

Andy Mangano, who was sole owner of Mangano Homes, said his firm had been approached by numerous companies in recent years but that Wathen Castanos was “most closely aligned with our own values and philosophies.”

All 12 Mangano Homes employees, including nine in San Luis Obispo, will be retained by the new owners, Mangano said. Wathen Castanos employs 47 people.

The sale will allow Wathen Castanos to expand operations on the Central Coast while freeing Mangano to work on longer-range development projects. Those include Marsh Street Brownstones (a preliminary application with the city called for seven brownstone homes fronting Marsh Street between Santa Rosa and Toro streets) and a mixed-use project on the corner of Broad and Marsh (currently a parking lot for Wells Fargo), Mangano said.

“SLO is an exciting city to work in,” he added, with “many opportunities for quality projects, especially downtown.”

Marsh Street Commons, a residential and commercial development downtown, will be completed within 10 days, Mangano said. That project was not included in the sale. All the units have been sold, he said.

Mangano Homes is also in the process of developing Serra Meadows in San Luis Obispo. That project will continue as planned, and Mangano will co-manage it. The development will feature 179 homes and 12 to 14 commercial lots along Prado Road when completed in an estimated three and a half years, Mangano said.

The local builder’s strength is in acquiring and getting all the necessary approvals to bring projects to fruition, while Wathen Castanos’ strength is production, noted Joshua E. Peterson, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Wathen Castanos. Both companies have won awards for quality projects.

“Our vision is to work together,’’ Peterson said. “That’s why we hired his staff and why he took on a management role at Serra Meadows.’’

Rich Wathen described the two companies as friendly competitors over the years, noting in a news release that “we have been friends with Andy Mangano for over 30 years.”

In the release, Kevin Castanos said that while Wathen Castanos has built homes in Paso Robles, the Mangano purchase gives the company an entree into the San Luis Obispo market that he said “has always been a dream for Rich and I.”

Besides Bowden Ranch, Marsh Street Commons, and Serra Meadows projects in San Luis Obispo, Mangano Homes has built the Grace Lane project in Arroyo Grande, as well as numerous residential communities in the Central Valley.

Wathen Castanos Hybrid Homes constructs about 200 homes annually and has developed the Vintage at Montebello Oaks project in Paso Robles, as well as numerous projects in Visalia, Clovis and Fresno. — Sandra Duerr

Local firm names new partners

Local law firm Carmel & Naccasha recently named two new partners — Shauna N. Cunningham of Paso Robles and Heather K. Whitham of San Luis Obispo.

Cunningham joined the firm in January from the San Luis Obispo office of Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, according to a news release. She specializes in corporations, business entities, school districts and other public entities. She is a member of the San Luis Obispo County and state bar associations.

Whitham joined Carmel & Naccasha in 2010, according to the release. Before that, she worked for 15 years as deputy city attorney for the city of Torrance. She focuses on municipal, land-use and transactional law, as well as civil litigation. She is a member of the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association and the San Luis Obispo Women Lawyers Association.

Carmel & Naccasha has offices in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. — Kaytlyn Leslie


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