LOS ANGELES (Inman News Features) - Home builder KB Home has announced its entry into the Tampa, Fla., market through an initiative launched last July with the acquisition of Trademark Homebuilders in Jacksonville. "Tampa is a growing, vital region, which makes it a perfect fit for us," said KB Home chairman Bruce Karatz. "We have a strong track record building a leadership position in every region in which we operate. Launching a start-up division in Tampa is a logical extension of our recent expansion into the Florida market."

Tampa is the third largest city in Florida and is a center of business and industry on the state's Gulf Coast. Tourism, finance, biomedical and health care contribute to the region's economy. Last year, the city issued more than 11,000 permits for single-family homes.

KB Home said it plans to have its first communities open in Tampa by the end of fiscal 2002.