Hands Tied A study commissioned by the Sacramento-based California Building Industry Association estimates that red tape and regulations kept builders from adding $6 billion and 43,000 jobs to the state's economy in 2005. The group is using the study—“Economic Benefits of Housing,” released in June—to persuade state lawmakers to overhaul environmental regulations, which builders and developers complain have stymied their efforts to meet buyer demand. Last year, new-home construction in California generated about $68 billion (a 15.3 percent increase over 2004) and nearly 487,000 jobs for the state's economy. The dollar amount was close to 3 percent of California's total economic output that year.—J. Caulfield
Purchase Order Bayport, Minn.–based Andersen Corp. has announced that it will purchase North Brunswick, N.J.–based Silver Line Building Products, a manufacturer of vinyl windows and patio doors. The purchase is contingent on the successful completion of a due diligence process and regulatory approval. Andersen plans to operate the business as a stand-alone subsidiary.—N.F. Maynard
BIG DEALS Panel Parting Weyerhaeuser Co., parent company of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co., announced in June its plan to sell its six U.S. composite mills to Flakeboard Co. The mills produce MDF and particle-board and are located in Albany, Ore.; Bennettsville, S.C.; Eugene, Ore.; Malvern, Ark.; and Simsboro, La. The company decided that the composite panels business ceased to be a strategic fit, says Steven R. Rogel, chairman, president, and CEO. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. –M. Mariani
Sprawl Creators A University of Maryland study casts doubt on local laws requiring developers to demonstrate there is enough infrastructure in place before a project can be built. The study, conducted by the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, was sponsored by two home building groups. It examined the adequate public facilities ordinances, or APFOs, which are meant to discourage urban sprawl, and found that heavy reliance on them can create more sprawl. The study says that if the laws are used too rigidly, they can deflect growth to areas farther away from the center city.—S. Zurier
SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST
Waste Not Atlantic Marine Corps Communities—a public/private venture formed by the Department of the Navy and Actus Lend Lease to redevelop the Stewart Terrace Military Family Housing Area in Orange County, N.Y.—has launched a program to salvage materials from 172 homes set to be demolished at Stewart Terrace. The effort is part of Actus' overall commitment to recycle as much as 80 percent of the demolition waste on its projects.—N.F.M.
KB Layoffs Rumors that KB Home would be reducing staff as a result of the housing slowdown are true. As of mid-June, newspapers in Las Vegas, Southern California's Inland Valley, and Tucson, Ariz., had reported that KB slashed its work-force locally due to declining market conditions. KB reportedly cut its workforce by 10 percent in both Las Vegas and the Inland Valley and reduced its staff by 8 percent in Tucson.—S.Z.
SOURCE: THE NEWS & OBSERVER
Cashing In Meritage Homes agreed to repurchase 1 million shares of common stock from John Landon, its former co-chairman who resigned on May 18. According to Finanzen.net, the negotiated selling price was $52.19 per share. According to Meritage's most recent proxy statement, as of March 6, 2006, Landon owned 1,911,136 shares of company stock, or about 7 percent of all shares outstanding.—J.C.
Texas Tax Swap Lawmakers in Texas had until June 1 to fix the state's system of funding public schools, ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court last November because it was overly dependent on local property taxes. In mid-May, legislators agreed to a 33 percent tax cut, phased in over this year and next. A $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax will fund the property tax cuts and additional school funding. Higher taxes will also be levied against businesses and used-car buyers.—M.M.
SOURCE: DALLAS MORNING NEWS