By Iris Richmond. More San Diego Digs

After selling off two of its divisions in Utah and Nevada, with one more in Washington, D.C., still to go, WL Homes is proceeding with its plan to grow locally. The launch of its new division in San Diego gives the builder, based in Newport Beach, Calif., its fourth in the state, and comes on the heels of the formation of WL's luxury division in May. Ground broke three months ago on the San Diego operation's first project, the Tides at Waters End in Carlsbad, Calif. Prices at the 219-home project, now in the grading process, will range from $350,000 to $1 million.

John Mecklenburg will lead WL's newest office. Formerly of M.D.C. Holdings, he expects 70 closings in 2003, 225 in 2004, and 300 in 2005.

John Mecklenburg will lead WL's newest office. Formerly of M.D.C. Holdings, he expects 70 closings in 2003, 225 in 2004, and 300 in 2005.

John Mecklenburg will lead WL's newest office. Formerly of M.D.C. Holdings, he expects 70 closings in 2003, 225 in 2004, and 300 in 2005.

San Diego Building Permits: In 2002, a lack of available land, coupled with costly land prices, has analysts predicting that total permits will fall by 8 percent, to 14,000, with home prices continuing to rise. (Source: The Meyers Group) Correction

A correction has been made to a news item in our online July 2002 issue, in which the name and Internet address of a wireless telecommunications screening company in San Diego was misspelled. The company's correct name is TeleFlage Corp. Its Web site is We regret this error.

Industry Movers and Shakers

Photo: John Hansel

Lisa Gordon Lisa Gordon joins Denver-based M.D.C. Holdings as executive vice president of its new San Diego division. She will be responsible for the company's land acquisition, merchandising, marketing, and sales throughout San Diego and the southwest Riverside counties. Gordon comes from KB Home, where she was vice president of land acquisition and planning for its San Diego division. Having signed on with Kimball Hill Homes last February as vice chairman, Isaac Heimbinder now replaces Greg Yakim as president and COO. Heimbinder, the former president and co-CEO of U.S. Home, will maintain dual offices in Chicago and Houston.

Scott Campbell, the former lead analyst for Raymond James and Associates, returns to Pulte Homes as vice president of asset management for the Florida area. Prior to joining Raymond James, located in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1999, Campbell was Pulte's director of investor relations.

Taylor Woodrow promotes Keith Bass to president of its Florida home building and land development operations. Most recently, Bass served as vice president of the company's Florida operations. Prior to joining the Bradenton, Fla.-based builder in 1993, Bass worked with NVR, in McLean, Va.

Personnel changes? E-mail Iris Richmond at:

Sucking Air

Builders trying to entice buyers in Flagstaff, Ariz.; Duluth, Minn.; and McAllen, Texas, don't have to worry about ozone pollution fogging their sales pitches. These cities didn't have one unhealthy ozone day in 2001, reports the American Lung Association in its annual study, "The State of the Air 2001." At the other end of the list are the top 10 most polluted metropolitan areas:

1. Los Angeles
2. Bakersfield, Calif.
3. Fresno, Calif.
4. Visalia, Calif.
5. Houston
6. Atlanta
7. Washington, D.C./Baltimore
8. Charlotte, N.C.
9. Knoxville, Tenn.
10. Philadelphia
Source: "The State of the Air 2001," the American Lung Association


Leonard Miller, co-founder of Lennar Corp., passed away at his home in Miami Beach on July 28. He was 69.

Leonard Miller Miller's business career began in 1955, when, after graduating from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree, he moved to south Florida to co-found Lennar with his partner Arnold Rosen. Miller led the company as president and CEO until 1997, when his son Stuart assumed those posts. Miller continued to serve as the chairman of the board. He also served on many nonprofit boards and committees, particularly those promoting education. Surviving him are his wife, Susan; their children, Stuart, Leslie, and Jeffrey; and 10 grandchildren.

Toll's Luxury

Toll Brothers' new luxury urban infill division, formed just under a year ago, is ready to break ground on its first two projects. The first, Eastside Commons, is a 90-unit condo community in downtown Providence, R.I.; the second is a 95-unit community in Palatine, Ill., called Palatine Station. Prices will range from $200,000 to $400,000 in both.

Photo: Courtesy Pappageorge/Haymes

The division, based in Mount Laurel, N.J., should secure at least six to eight projects next year, says Paul Commito, director of acquisition development. Because of all the challenges a builder faces when working with infill, he says, the plan is to look for opportunities in markets where Toll Brothers already operates. Lil' Builders

The NAHB is going back to school. Its interactive CD-ROM game, Building Homes of Our Own, hits middle schools across the country starting this month. At press time, more than 2,000 schools had pre-ordered the simulation game that turns students into virtual home builders. Developed by Media Options in Chicago, the game challenges students to work within a budget to design and build a home.

Partial funding for the game, in amounts the NAHB declines to specify, came from Freddie Mac, the Fannie Mae Foundation, and the NAHB National Housing Endowment. Visit for more details.

More Grads, More Buyers

The rise in employment among college graduates is good news for builders, says John Burns, a consultant based in Irvine, Calif.

While the rest of the country experienced a negative job-growth rate of -0.7 percent last year, Burns reports, employment among college grads increased by 3.2 percent.

Change in U.S. Employment, June 2001 to June 2002 (Source: John Burns Real Estate Consulting) Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, September 2002