Next week, Fischer Homes will officially open an 8,000-square-foot Lifestyle Design Center for the Indianapolis market, into which Fischer expanded last summer and where it expects to sell between 150 and 200 homes in its first year.
The Crestview Hills, Ky.-based Fischer is investing at least $5 million on its Indianapolis expansion, where it reportedly has options on 500 home sites. Overseeing this expansion is Tim McMahon, who worked at Centex Homes for 18 years and ran that builder’s Indianapolis division for a decade before Pulte acquired Centex in 2008.
Fischer is the second major builder to descend upon Indianapolis after the closure of that market’s former largest builder C.P. Morgan Communities. In October, NVR’s Ryan Homes acquired 800 unfinished lots that Morgan had relinquished through a bank foreclosure.
Bob Hawksley, Fischer’s president, tells BUILDER that his company looked at Morgan’s assets, but decided to take a pass. Instead, it has picked up lots from banks, other builders and developers, and so far Fischer has built 30 homes in 17 Indianapolis-area communities. The company is showcasing four home styles in this market: Grand Estate Custom, Masterpiece, Designer, and Maple Street Homes. Fischer currently has five models opened in the suburbs of Geist, Carmel, Westfield, Zionsville, and Avon. Hawksley, says his company is going after the full spectrum of buyers, from entry-level to luxury.
Indianapolis represents Fischer’s second major market expansion in two years. In 2008, the builder moved into Columbus, Ohio, where last year it sold 120 homes. Hawksley says the company is now building in 30 communities in Columbus and expects to sell 200 homes there in 2010.
In its headquarters market of Cincinnati, Hawksley says Fischer increased its unit sales last year by about 15%, and added 10 more communities in which it will build homes this year.
John Caulfield is senior editor for BUILDER magazine.