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LADERA RANCH, CA - July 9, 2003 - SylvanOaks at Ladera Ranch made history recently, as the winner of one of the most coveted honors in the homebuilding industry: A Gold Nugget "Best in the West" award. From numerous entries spanning 14 Western states and all countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, the Plan One at SylvanOaks by MBK Homes was singled out as the "Best Single-Family Detached Home" with square footage of 1,700 square feet and over on a compact lot. A panel of esteemed architects, planners and builders has placed SylvanOaks at the forefront of the international design competition.

"Winning the Gold Nugget is an extraordinary honor," said Tim Kane, president of MBK Homes. "The competition has a 40-year heritage for recognizing excellence and innovation. The Western states and Pacific Rim have a reputation for introducing new ideas, imaginative design trends and creative solutions to complex homebuilding issues. Being chosen as the best in this highly competitive arena is a remarkable honor, particularly since the judges are industry peers."

The Gold Nugget award ceremony is a highlight of the Pacific Coast Builders' Conference (PCBC) and is the oldest and largest competition of its kind. The competition is sponsored by PCBC and Builder magazine, a national homebuilding publication. The competition is particularly significant to the industry, because it is not primarily a marketing competition. The focus is on aesthetic merit, innovation and effectiveness in design and planning.

SylvanOaks offers two-story plans with three to five bedrooms, and two and one-half to three baths. The bright, versatile designs range from approximately 1,853 to 2,152 square feet and feature a wide range of special appointments. The neighborhood is designed as an intimate village, with only 69 homes. To create aesthetically pleasing streetscapes, the residences feature a variety of architectural influences, including Shingle, Cape Cod, Spanish Eclectic, Classic Colonial and European Cottage. Prices begin from the $400,000s.

Among the reasons SylvanOaks won the Gold Nugget was the neighborhood's thoughtful room arrangements. Interiors are organized for comfortable daily living and elegant entertaining, with layouts that blend openness and privacy. Large family rooms feature handsome wood-burning fireplaces, and the open, spacious kitchens are designed with enviable conveniences, including a GE gas range with warming drawer, microwave hood combination, five-cycle dishwasher and ceramic tile countertops. Select kitchens also feature a large center preparation island. Master suites are designed for peaceful relaxation, and feature spacious walk-in closets with mirrored doors, inviting oval tubs, separate ceramic-tile showers and comfortable dressing areas with his-and-hers sinks.

Among the highlights are elegant birch cabinetry, air conditioning, cozy front porches, two-car garages with automatic openers, grand entry foyers with ceramic tile, hand-crafted six-panel Colonist interior doors, and attractive lighting and plumbing fixtures. State-of-the-art conveniences include deluxe Category 5 voice and data wiring, pre-wiring for future fiber optic potential and upgrades, and a full-range of energy- and resource-conservation features. SylvanOaks was awarded with an Energy Star rating for its energy efficiency.

Ladera Ranch is a naturally scenic, 4,000-acre master-planned community located east of Mission Viejo in South Orange County. Ladera Ranch is projected to include a variety of 8,100 homes within distinctive villages and three mixed-use districts, both consisting of intimate neighborhoods. Among the amenities available and planned for Ladera Ranch are sites for schools, places of worship, child-care centers, two shopping plazas, an 75-acre mixed use business center, as well as recreational and social amenities that include neighborhood and community parks, a regional Sports Park, several village club facilities, miles of neighborhood pathways, and approximately 1,600 acres of surrounding ridgelines and arroyo open space traversed by regional trails. A major facilitator for community connectedness for Ladera Ranch is the installation of a community network and high-speed fiber optic infrastructure, which provides quick and easy in-home access to a broad range of high-speed interactive voice, video and on-line service, including a community-wide Intranet known as LaderaLife.

With its keen attention to detail, MBK Homes Ltd. is dedicated to delivering superior craftsmanship in every home it builds. Strengthened by the reputation and financial stability of its parent company Mitsui & Co., Ltd., MBK Homes is committed to providing its customers with the best value their homebuying dollar can buy and to building homes to last a lifetime.

MBK Homes continues to expand its homebuilding activities in some of Southern California's most desirable locations. In addition to SylvanOaks, MBK neighborhoods include: Aldergate in Ontario, Berkeley in Brea, Briar Rose in Ladera Ranch, Serrano in Rancho Cucamonga, Inverness at Vista Del Verde, Radcliffe in Amerige Heights, San Abella at Westridge Valencia and Altoliva in the Santa Clarita Valley. For more information on any of these communities, please call (888) 943-HOME or visit the company's Web site at

To visit the award-winning homes of SylvanOaks, take the I-5 Freeway toward South Orange County. Exit Crown Valley Parkway and proceed east 2.5 miles to Sienna Parkway. Follow signs to SylvanOaks. The three beautifully furnished models are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Wednesday, when the hours are 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Posted on July, 9th 2003

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