Kimball Hill Homes, a private builder founded in 1969, has become the latest casualty of the housing and credit crisis: the firm will close its doors after finishing the homes currently under construction, according to a company announcement made yesterday.

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but given the current housing and financial market conditions we are simply unable to conduct normal operations while the company continues its sale efforts," said Ken Love, Kimball Hill’s CEO. "We believe it is appropriate to begin the wind-down process now to ensure the smoothest transition possible for our employees, our home buyers, the communities we serve, as well as our creditors."

The news indicates just how difficult conditions have become for the nation’s home builders. Kimball Hill, a BUILDER 100 builder which closed 3,246 homes as recently as 2007, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. But restructuring proved impossible given the current state of the economy and housing market, and now the company plans to either sell the business or its assets.

The past year has been difficult for the company and its employees financially and emotionally. Kimball Hill also lost its founder David K. Hill to cancer in July. He had named the company after his father, Kimball Hill.

Alison Rice is senior editor, online, at BUILDER magazine.

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