Francis George

Rob McGibney can see a decade's worth of work from a single overlook located about 4 miles west of his home.

The perch gives McGibney, KB Home division president in Nevada, a panoramic view of Inspirada, a 1,500-acre project he's been working on since 2005 in Henderson, Nev.

Though the project's ups and downs traced the economy's state, McGibney's determination never faltered despite bankruptcy, a recession, and builders bowing out of the master planned development.

"I was never at a stage where I didn't think it was going to happen," he says.

By 2008, the Great Recession's grasp on builders was beginning to choke and stall projects, and Inspirada was no exception. But McGibney wasn't ready to call it quits.

The original plan, which included eight developers, was to create a New Urbanist community of homes with small yards and a larger, public, centralized open space.

When a bankruptcy petition was filed against Inspirada developers in 2010, the group had to rethink the development with the idea to appeal to a larger group of buyers. Four of the eight builders that had signed onto the project's plan from 2005 to 2007 had bowed out of the deal, but KB Home, Toll Brothers, Pardee Homes, and Beazer Homes remained. By 2011, the project came out of bankruptcy and the builders were able to move forward.

With KB Home having 73% ownership interest of the master plan, McGibney was responsible for taking charge and setting a new plan in motion.

"There was always a plan to have all of these parks and open spaces," McGibney explains. "But they weren't there. So we were kind of laying out a vision for what the master plan was going to be and once we got our new development agreement and design guidelines done with the city and we were allowed to move forward with construction, we made the decision to build all of these amenities up front."

Over a nine-month span, the builders created more than 18 acres of parks and amenities in the development. Additionally, Aventura Park, the largest space at 20 acres, celebrated a grand opening in late May.

As of June, all four builders had unveiled new homes and neighborhoods, and the development housed more than 2,500 residents.

"I'm really proud of what we've done," McGibney says. "It's great to look out and be able to see what's happened just in the last year and a half. [The overlook] is somewhere you can stand and see all the progress from the last couple of years. I see the 5-acre park in the middle of it and I'm reminded since then how the landscape has really changed."