By Iris Richmond. After four years of sharing office space with the Fort Myers division, Beazer's Tampa operations have a new address — in Tampa. The new division began ramping up in March with the appointment of division president Lou Steffens.

"Business is growing so quickly in Tampa that we needed to split the markets into two and manage them separately, or else be restricted from further growth," says Steffens. Prior to joining Beazer, he spent 10 years at Pulte Corp., where he most recently managed the active adult business in Atlanta.

Steffens aims to double the division's business and staff next year, turning Beazer into Tampa's fifth-largest builder. The Tampa operation, which produced 200 homes last year, plans to increase annual closings to around 500 units this year and between 850 and 1,000 units in 2003. "We'll easily be in the top 10 in our market next year," he says, "but I won't be satisfied until we're number one." Lennar and Pulte are the market leaders, closing on 1,348 and 885 units, respectively, in 2001. Tampa issued 15,782 housing permits that year.

To accomplish his goal, Steffens recently expanded the Tampa division's product offering to include attached single-family and multifamily.

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, August 2002