Lennar and Pulte Homes, the industry's second- and third-largest builders, in recent days have scaled back operations in two Eastern markets.
An executive who had been with Lennar for several years before being laid off last week, tells BUILDER Online that the Miami-based builder announced on Jan. 17 that it was closing its Space Coast division in Melbourne, Fla., which according to the builder's corporate Web site includes four communities; as well as its Central Florida division in Clermont, Fla., which includes three communities. Those divisions have been merged into Lennar's divisional office in Orlando, which was already overseeing a dozen communities. The source says that Wayne Broedel is president of the combined operations and that the downsizing resulted in at least 50 layoffs.
The three Florida divisions combined had pulled about 900 permits for 2008 construction, this source said. Marshall Ames, Lennar's corporate spokesman, did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment about this consolidation or whether Lennar has taken similar actions in other markets.
Pulte is cutting 55 jobs in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., markets, representing about one-fifth of its workforce there, as it consolidates those offices into one operation, located in Fairfax, Va. Melanie Hearsh, a Pulte spokeswoman, told the Baltimore Business Journal that her company would retain sales and support teams in Baltimore and in Washington. The combined Fairfax operation, now with 26 communities, will report to Lou Baker, president of Pulte's Maryland division.
Mark Marymee, Pulte's spokesman, tells BUILDER Online that the builder has not released any further comments about possible future consolidations in markets other than Baltimore-D.C.
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