John Laing is done in Northern California. All there projects will eventually be liquidated including Villa d'est. The key question for you is who is the ultimate buyer. The most likely buyer will be one of the public homebuilders like Lennar, Toll Brothers, DR Horton etc. If it's one of the larger public that buys it, they will most likely build out the project immediately.
If for some reason the ultimate buyer is an investment fund, they might have a different business plan that might include just sitting on the land for 3-5 years until the housing market improves.
This is really the first issue like this in the Bay Area, but there are dozens of similar "broken" projects in Sacramento, the central valley and the rest of CA. The difference is that in the Bay Area, the value of a house still far exceeds the cost to build it, so the land has value. In places like Merced, the cost to build exceeds the maket value of a house, so in places like that when a builder gets foreclosured or goes bankrupt and the lots get sold, there is no chance the project will be built out today. Those projects probably won't be built out for at least 5 years.