By Iris Richmond. The ink is barely dry on Beazer Homes' purchase of Crossmann Communities, but the company already has competitors gunning for it in Memphis, Tenn.

Consider Reeves Williams, a builder based in South Haven, Miss., which plans to strengthen its presence in Memphis this year. "We intend to be the dominant builder in the market, and we will take away builders' market share," says president Clay Lane, specifically referring to public builders. Crossmann is the only public builder ranked among the Memphis' top five builders.

"We're the largest home builder in Mississippi, but we're not recognized as much in Memphis, and we intend to change that," says Lane.

Crossmann's volume was down last year, but president Steve Dunn denies rumors of the company leaving the market. "We've had a difficult time putting together land deals in Memphis," he says. "It can take a while for the local management team to identify where the parcels are and where to network, but we're certainly holding our own."

It will have to. While Reeves Williams built 508 homes last year, its president intends to build 750 this year, and 1,000 in 2003, with much of that in Memphis. Like Crossmann, the builder offers affordable housing at prices starting around $110,000.

Up and Comer: Reeves Williams, which nearly doubled its unit volume last year, is zeroing in on its two main competitors.

Top builders in memphis, Tenn./Ark./Miss.

Company Sales (in units)
2001 2000
Reeves Williams 508 287
Bowden Homes 340 480
Crossmann Communities 216 268
Matthew Bros. 197 155
Lenox Homes 14 124

Source: BUILDER Magazine