Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co. 2006 rank:17

1986 rank:12

In the late 1980s, Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co. was delivering 5,000 homes per year. But over the next several years, the Federal Way, Wash.–based company would undergo a downsizing transformation that, in retrospect, put it in a better position to expand today.

Weyerhaeuser eventually closed its home building divisions in Florida and Seattle and sold Scarborough Homes in New Jersey (to Pulte), Westminster Homes in North Carolina (now part of Hovnanian Enterprises), Centennial Homes in Dallas (now part of Beazer), Weyerhaeuser Mortgage (now part of General Electric Capital Co.), and Westwood Insurance (now owned by Centex). These operations weren't performing financially or “didn't have a meaningful niche,” recalls Dan Fulton, Weyerhaeuser's president and CEO since 2001 and a 30-year company veteran.

Weyerhaeuser didn't hit 5,000 deliveries again until 2004. But with a stronger balance sheet and land position, it's poised for “measured” growth, says Fulton, through acquisitions (it purchased Maracay Homes in Arizona in February) and by expanding its current divisions into contiguous markets—subsidiary Pardee Homes, for example, will start delivering homes in Northern California next year—and offering new products, such as active adult.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Seattle, WA.