A former vice president and consultant with Pulte Homes has acquired the giant home builder's six active developments on Long Island, N.Y., effectively ending Pulte’s presence in this market.

Don Eversoll, a partner with Commack, N.Y.-based Timber Ridge Development, confirms local newspaper reports that his company—which was formed to make this purchase—paid an "eight-figure" sum to Pulte for those developments. What Timber Ridge acquired includes 416 lots and 100 finished and partially finished townhouses. The developer also assumes existing contracts with Pulte's home buyers and subcontractors.

In November 2002, Pulte entered Long Island by purchasing Eversoll's previous development company, Klein & Eversoll, which at the time had three active communities. (The 63-year-old Eversoll, a 40-year industry veteran, ran KB Home's operations on Long Island between 1973 and 1976, when he formed Klein & Eversoll by purchasing KB’s assets there.) He tells BUILDER that he approached Pulte on Dec. 11 about buying its assets on the Island, sensing from some management shifts that the builder might be receptive. He and his two partners at Timber Ridge signed a deal 18 days later.

Casey Hill, president of Pulte's Atlantic region in Atlanta, which oversees the builder's operations in New York, told Newsday that Pulte would have had to invest another $50 million to stay on Long Island, without providing specifics. Hill did not return a message BUILDER left with his office requesting comment. Eversoll notes, though, that Long Island, geographically narrow and congested, has never been hospitable to national production builders that prefer developing large tracts of land. "This is more an infill market, which isn't the big builders' strength," he explains.

Timber Ridge, which retains about half of Pulte's local employees, plans to build at least 100 homes per year on the lots it purchased from the builder, which Eversoll says has an "excellent product”" on the Island. He says his company is also looking to see what other land-purchase opportunities shake out in the aftermath of the housing downturn.

John Caulfield is senior editor with BUILDER.

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