Continuing the expansion of its brand into the Pacific Northwest, PulteGroup has spent roughly $58 million to buy a mix of finished lots and raw land at four Seattle locations.
PulteGroup recently closed on 900 lots from the Murray Franklyn Family of Companies, a developer in the Northwest United States. The land sold is in Maple Valley, Education Hill in Redmond, and the master-plan community Redmond Ridge East . A fourth purchase in Snoqualmie Ridge II was bought from a joint-venture partnership between Murray Franklyn and Quadrant Homes, a subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co.
In addition to buying land and lots, PulteGroup also optioned some as well, said Pete de Leuw, a Murray Franklyn partner.
While Centex Homes, which was merged into PulteGroup nearly 17 months ago, has had a presence in Seattle for more than 30 years, the Pulte brand name has not been seen in Seattle for some time.
“PulteGroup has since been looking for the right location and time to expand its brands locally,” said Pulte spokesperson Jacque Petroulakis. “Our multiple brands provide a base to serve a broader set of new home buyers in the Seattle market, and we are excited for the local debut of Pulte Homes.”
Both Quadrant Homes and Murray Franklyn will continue to also build homes in the communities and retain ownership and the lead developer role in the commercial/retail parcels yet to be developed in Snoqualmie Ridge.
Large parcels of land remain difficult to come by in the Seattle area thanks to strong development regulations as well as topography, said de Leuw. That means there aren’t many developers around with holdings large enough to satisfy the appetites of large production builders such as PulteGroup.
“When Pulte acquired Centex, they became a bigger horse with a bigger appetite, and we were probably one of the few builder developers that had the kind of inventory that they want,” said de Leuw.
Snoqualmie Ridge II is the second phase of a large master plan and includes 736 acres with as many as 1,850 residential units, approximately 36 acres of commercial and/or retail parcels, two school sites, a 16-acre community park, miles of trails, and other parks and open space.
The initial phase of Snoqualmie Ridge is 1,350 acres and includes nearly 2,300 homes, 10 acres of retail, a 100-acre business park, an elementary school, miles of trails, a 16-acre community park, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed TPC golf course, and other parks and open space, de Leuw said.
In October, PulteGroup moved the Pulte brand into the Portland, Ore., market, where Centex already had a presence. There it bought 88 finished town home lots in Tigard. The development, to be called Summer Creek, is on the west side of Washington County, two miles from Washington Square Mall. Sales are expected to start in January. During the merger with Centex, a presence in the Pacific Northwest was noted as an advantage Pulte would gain.

Teresa Burney is a senior editor for BUILDER and BIG BUILDER magazines

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Seattle, WA.