Choice Homes Expands

People like things big in Texas, and Choice Homes, of Arlington, Texas, is expanding accordingly. Steve Wall, president and CEO, announced the company was expanding into the New Braunfels market, about 25 miles from San Antonio International Airport, by opening a community called North Park Meadows, offering 64 single-family lots. Homes are priced from $99,950 to the $130,000s. Choice also has offices in Houston, San Antonio, and Atlanta.

Industry Movers and Shakers

Michael Killeen has been named vice president of construction services for Edison, N.J.'s K. Hovnanian Co.'s Northeast Division. Killeen has been in the homebuilding business for 19 years, all of them with K. Hovnanian. He has served in a variety of posts, including construction superintendent, project director, construction process redesign captain, and, most recently, as community builder, who has full responsibility for one or more new-home communities. Killeen is credited with redesigning the company's construction business practices, introducing such procedures as centralized purchasing and unitary pricing.

U.S. Home Corp., of Clearwater, Fla., has promoted Francine Miller to president of the Central Florida Division, which built more than 1,500 homes last year in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and parts of Pasco County. Miller joined U.S. Home 25 years ago, and today she is one of the leading production housing executives in the U.S. building industry. Formerly, Miller served as the division president for housing in the Central Florida Division. U.S. Home Corp. is a member of the Lennar family of builders.

Richmond American homes tapped Darlene A. Thomas as its new director of design for the builder's Southern California operations, which stretch through Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. She previously held the position of merchandising manager at the divisional level. Thomas will be responsible for overall merchandising at all Richmond American model homes and sales offices. Her duties will include directing model home and sales office interior design, working with interior design firms, architects, and other designers.

The largest builder of new single-family homes in Washington State, Quadrant Corp., named Peter Orser as its new president. Orser, a company veteran of 16 years, was formerly executive vice president. He succeeds Steve Dennis, who will serve as CEO until mid-September, when he retires. Quadrant is a wholly owned subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co. Quadrant anticipates selling 900 homes in 2003 and more than 1,000 in 2004.

Personnel changes? E-mail wendy leibowitz at:

Orleans Reaches Florida

Orleans Homebuilders, which builds homes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Virginia, announced it had purchased all the outstanding stock of Masterpiece Homes, allowing the Bensalem, Pa.-based home builder to enter the central Florida market. Bob Fitzsimmons, president of Masterpiece, will remain with the company and oversee a backlog of 278 sold, but not yet delivered, homes with an aggregate revenue of approximately $39 million.

Recent Lennar Acquisitions
Company Headquartered
July 2003
Newhall Land and Farming Co. (Joint Venture with LNR) Valencia, Calif.
April 2003
Coleman Homes Bakersfield, Calif.
Jan. 2003
Seppala Homes Greenville/Spartanburg, Charleston, S.C.
Summit Homes Chicago
Concord Homes Chicago
Barry Andrews Homes Baltimore
Pacific Century Homes Temecula, Calif. (Inland Empire)
Cambridge Homes Fresno, Calif.
Patriot Homes Baltimore
Fortress Group McLean, Va.
Fortress Group homebuilding operations Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C., Charleston, S.C.
US Home Corp. Houston

Centex Sheds Unit

Dallas-based Centex Corp. is toning up its balance sheet. Having sold its manufactured housing division, Cavco, earlier in the year, Centex announced that it would sell off its Centex Construction Products (CXP) unit to shareholders in a tax-free transaction to be completed by the end of 2003. The Dallas-based division manufactures and distributes cement, gypsum wallboard, recycled paperboard and concrete, and aggregates.

Rush to Move In

Floridians seem increasingly in a rush. Two years ago, between 10 percent and 20 percent of U.S. Home's new Central Florida Division customers wanted ready-to-move-in homes, according to Francine Miller, division president. "Today," she notes, "more than half of new home buyers want to move in today, and more than half of the new homes we sell are already completed."

Accordingly, the Clearwater, Fla., builder is completing more homes on spec. "As soon as we get to the drywall stage of a spec home, we start construction of another one," Miller says. In late summer, U.S. Home had more than 180 spec homes under construction in 12 communities in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and parts of Pasco County. Eighty of the spec homes will be completed by the end of September, ready for immediate move-in.


Our story about certified wood contained a typographical error. The Forest Stewardship Council was founded in 1993, not 1933. In addition, Michael Washburn is the FSC's vice president, not president, of forestry and marketing. Roger C. Dower is FSC's president in the United States. The corrections have been made in the online version of the article.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA, Charleston, SC.