From left, Park Square Homes co-CEO Suresh Gupta, chairman Braham Aggarwal, and co-CEO Vishaal Gupta.
Courtesy Park Square Homes From left, Park Square Homes co-CEO Suresh Gupta, chairman Braham Aggarwal, and co-CEO Vishaal Gupta.

For 40 years, Florida-based Park Square Homes—No. 82 on the 2022 Builder 100—has been in the business of building both traditional and resort-style single-family communities in the Sunshine State.

Family-owned and headquartered in Orlando with offices in Tampa, the company is led by CEO Suresh Gupta. To learn more about the company, its history, and its evolution, BUILDER sat down with Gupta. Below he highlights the company’s humble beginnings coming from England and settling in Florida’s big amusement city to its current goals moving forward in another time of economic uncertainty.

BUILDER: What is the history of Park Square Homes?

Gupta: Park Square Homes was established in 1983. We came from England and originally came here to build hotels because Orlando was a series of hotels with Disney and everything. At that time, there were a lot of hotels being built, so we decided to do something different. We got into a community that was by the University of Central Florida (UCF). We started our first community with 52 duplexes for student housing. They were three-bedrooms with a garage and were targeted to students.

My background is in accounting. When we came into the business, I became the salesman and also was the accountant. My father-in-law at that time was the builder. We both ran this company and started from there. There was a lot of things we had to learn.

We became a developer, and then we reached the stage where we were developing an awful lot and didn't have enough builders to buy them. We decided conscientiously to become a production home builder at that time. From there, we just developed and built for ourselves. Now, we're doing all types of housing projects from building single-family to townhomes to three-story houses to big houses.

BUILDER: Who are the key executives, and how did they get into home building?

Gupta: Beyond myself, the key executives I'd like to highlight are Steve Parker, who is the president and chief operating officer. He's been in the home building business for over 30 years. He ran Mattamy Homes and Morrison Homes. Then, we've got Monika Goyal, who is the chief financial officer. She's been with us for about 15 years now. She has a very strong accounting background. She's also a CPA and a tax expert. And then my son is a co-CEO, and he was born in the business. It's in his blood.

BUILDER: What markets did the company start in, and which does it serve now?

Gupta: We started in Central Florida, and now we've expanded to Tampa and have plans to expand to Sarasota and Palm Bay. We're looking at the coast and all the way through Babcock Ranch as well. And again, when you think of Central Florida, we're in north Central Florida and south. There's more cities, not as well known as Orlando, like Davenport.

Courtesy Park Square Homes

BUILDER: Are there any future growth plans outside of Florida?

Gupta: I think we would like to expand more in Florida before we go out, but we're not saying no to anything right now. If I did want to go, it would be close to our border. I would say the Carolinas or Texas maybe a little farther away. That would be a big wish list. I think before that, we want to establish a few more markets in Florida.

BUILDER: What sets Park Square apart from other builders in the area?

Gupta: Having been here almost 38 to 39 years, we're well known with our local community. We're well known with brokers, banks, and land owners. They know us and sometimes approach us directly.

We've established good relationships with international brokers. We do get them involved when we're designing houses. For the international market, we've called a bunch of brokers that we have a good track record with and asked them for their input. From listening to that, we've designed our 15-bedroom, 15-bath house. None of the national builders will build that because they think it's crazy, but our brokers have told us there's a demand, and I can verify that we cannot build enough of those. Every time we build one or put one for sale, we sell it. The reason that they do well is a lot of people don't cater to sports teams, reunions, convention center exhibitors that come here. These homes meet that demand, and the brokers take advantage all day long. So that's what makes us different. We're family-owned and established here.

BUILDER: How has the company evolved from its establishment to today?

Gupta: One of the things that helped us through 2008 was that we had very low leverage. We didn't have big bank loans. Even today if you look at our balance sheet, we're very low leverage, and we keep it that way. All the profits we do make we put back into the company, either by paying down the bank loan or buying more land. Our family that has owned this company for so many years, they haven't really changed their lifestyle. I've lived in the same house for 20 years and I keep renovating that house. We just want to keep the company going. The company is a priority for us. There's a lot of people that work at this company, and they depend on us. I feel that it's important to keep the company going because we do care for these employees. They've got family to take care of. So that's just a driving force within me personally.

BUILDER: On the 2022 Builder 100, Park Square ranked No. 82 with 772 closings in 2021. How did the company fare in 2022, and what led to the increase/decrease in closings?

Gupta: We closed just over 600 homes in 2022. Why the decrease? We had a lot of issues with supply chain. They were just holding us up. We couldn't finish the houses in time. We had labor issues. It was just the aftermath of COVID, where people just didn't want to come back to work, and the building industry suffered a lot.

Our goal at the time was to have over 900 closings. We didn't make 900, but over 600. We also had 600 in our backlog, which means another 600 homes have moved to this year. So this year, our goal is going to be close to 1,000 homes. We didn't sell what we wanted to, but we will be doing it this year. We've had very few cancellations, which is really good considering mortgage rates have gone up.

Courtesy Park Square Homes

BUILDER: Outside of building homes, how does Park Square build up its communities?

Gupta: We've built nine consecutive Habitat for Humanity houses. The whole company gets involved, and they all love coming out and being a part of it. The second thing we've done is recently we donated the proceeds of a house to the Orlando Police Foundation. We didn't do this ourselves. Our trades helped us. The ironic thing is a policewoman bought the house. She's retired from Chicago and of course was very pleased that the proceeds went to the foundation.

Another one we do is a project called ELEVATE Orlando. Here, we choose a teacher that helps underprivileged children. There's one particular school we choose, and we've done that for two years running now. Another one we do is the UCF College of Medicine. We have sponsored a student for four years for the medical educational costs, which are about $50,000 a year. We're also heavily involved with the home builders association and participate in everything that they do for the community as well.

BUILDER: What are the company’s goals moving forward?

Gupta: I would say one of the things we want to do is establish ourselves in one or two new markets in Florida. We're looking at markets but haven't decided yet.

Another thing is I think we're looking at innovative ways to communicate with our homeowners. I think what distinguishes us from other builders is that we have this homeowner app that we communicate with our homeowners, and we've designed it in a way that the homeowners can see what's going on. Instead of your normal email communication or going online, the second somebody buys a home, it creates a platform specifically for them. They get all their updates in that app. It's not just for the initial build of the home, but after they close is also used for customer service as well.

Another area that we don't do yet is to cater to the 55-plus or multigenerational homes. We're looking into those things, and we'd like to get a footprint into that as well. I think that would be something that we'd like to move into while in Florida.