KB launches a start up. By Iris Richmond
The move into Florida's third-largest city follows KB's purchase of Trademark Homes in Jacksonville in July 2001. Last year, Tampa issued more than 11,000 single-family permits. "We did review potential acquisition candidates in Tampa," says COO Jeff Mezger, "but elected to enter the market 'de novo' instead. That strategy does not preclude us from acquiring a builder in Tampa as we grow our business."
KB hopes to buy finished or entitled lots so it can hit the ground running. Though the optimal home size has yet to be set, prices will range from $100,000 to $175,000 with a focus on first-time buyers. "The division's goals are to have communities open by the end of 2002 and to be a good business partner in the area. Local builders get mad when you say you're going to be the best," Mezger says.
KB is committed to penetrating the Florida market and will be entering other cities in the state, Mezger says. KB Homes expects to sell 600 homes in Jacksonville in 2002, and 23,000 homes as a company, including in France.
Top Builders in Tampa
|Company||Sales (in units)|
|Westfield Homes USA||553|
|M/I Schottenstein Homes||550|
|Suarez Housing Corp.||328|
Source: BUILDER Magazine
BIG BUILDER Magazine, March 2002