By Iris Richmond. The purchase of two Chicago builders provides Lennar Corp. with a familiar vista — looking down at its competitors. COO Robert Strudler says the acquisitions of Summit Homes and Concord Homes (which is the market leader and ranked 53rd on the Builder 100) were a strategic move consisting of two primary thrusts: to attain a leadership position right away and to further expand the builder's dual marketing approach. It also marks Lennar's entry into the Chicago area.

Although Concord Homes delivered just 20 homes a decade ago, it has since averaged a 25-percent annual growth rate and expects to churn out more than 1,000 homes this year. "We're at the pinnacle but are made even stronger through this acquisition," says executive vice president Roger Mankedick. "Concord is ready to begin another journey, this time receiving our direction from Lennar." Summit Homes, ranked 49th in Chicago, should contribute 275 closings in 2002.

These deals complete the purchasing program announced in Lennar's second-quarter conference call. As previously reported (see Acquisition Mission from September issue), the Miami-based builder allocated $350 million for the acquisitions of private home builders in 2002. The all-cash purchase prices for five such deals, which include Pacific Century Homes and Cambridge Homes in California and Barry Andrews Homes in Baltimore, remain undisclosed.

Lennar will keep the Concord and Summit names and management intact upon the close of the transactions, which took place on August 15 for Concord and should occur by late October for Summit.

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, October 2002