Tag Archives: Lennar

Marina Heights is a development partnership between Ryan Companies and Sunbelt Holdings. Fellow Valley Partnership member Cushman & Wakefield was awarded the leasing assignment.

A valley of partners

Partner-to-partner transactions building up the valley
one project at a time

When Valley Partnership was founded 27 years ago, it was on the principles of responsible development. It has since grown to thousands of members throughout the commercial real estate community — from subcontractors to some of the largest developers in Arizona.

Eastmark includes a partnership between DMB Associates and Marham COntracting Co.

Eastmark includes a partnership between DMB Associates and Markham Contracting Co.

“In 2014 and beyond, Valley Partnership developer companies are the leaders of almost every major commercial real estate project announced, including Marina Heights, the numerous announcements of deals at Eastmark, and Liberty Center at Rio Salado,” says Valley Partnership President and CEO Richard Hubbard.

The members have rallied behind the idea of partnership, Hubbard says.

“These developers use Valley Partnership partners for all construction disciplines related to the project including planning, design, architecture, general contracting, engineering and even law and accounting,” Hubbard says. “Many of those ‘partner-to-partner’ transactions have come from long-standing relationships created through Valley Partnership. I would say that every level of partner in Valley Partnership, from board member to sole proprietor, is participating in the current commercial real estate building activity in the Valley.”

Some companies, such as Evergreen Devco, take the partner-to-partner very seriously.

Valley Partnership Chair of the Board Doug Leventhal is the principal and COO of Evergreen Devco. Though Evergreen has focused much of its recent work in Denver, the company finds exclusive value in partnership with fellow VP members for Arizona projects.

“I can say that for all our Arizona work, we tend to work exclusively with the companies that see the value in Valley Partnership and either are active members or active sponsors,” Leventhal says. “Our general contractors, for example, need to be members or sponsors almost as a prerequisite to getting our business. Our architects, engineers, attorneys and title companies need to be members of Valley Partnership — or have a good reason why they are not! It’s important to Evergreen that we collectively support Valley Partnership since we all benefit from its mission to promote responsible development in the Valley. We are all connected in this unique way.”

Liberty Center at Rio Salado is a partnership between Liberty Property Trust and Markham Contracting Co.

Liberty Center at Rio Salado is a partnership between Liberty Property Trust and Markham Contracting Co.

That unique connection, as DMB Associates President Charley Freericks sees it involves Valley Partnership’s advocacy role for developers as well as a genuine passion for making Arizona a great place to live.

“Valley Partnership understands that real estate isn’t the only driver of the economy,” says Freericks. “We are the beneficiaries of a strong and growing economy and it’s in our interest to make this a great place to live.”

Freericks, who has been a member for 10 years, served on the board of directors, was chairman in 2009, and has sat on multiple committees.

Most of DMB Associates’ partners at the developers’ 6,000-acre masterplanned community of Eastmark – and around the Valley – are Valley Partnership members, Freericks says.

“Over the years, we have worked with so many contractors, consultants and service providers who are members it would be hard to name them all,” he says. “In fact it might be difficult to find any that aren’t members.”

Valley Partnership has multiple avenues for paving those partnerships. There are 10 committees, including one for an annual golf tournament and a community building project. One of the most popular and frequent member events, is the Friday Morning Breakfasts — a monthly morning panel discussion about an industry trend featuring local experts.

Freericks reflected on a breakfast about the impact and trade partnership Arizona has with Canada as a particularly helpful one for his masterplanned communities of Eastmark and Victory at Verrado, which target Canadian homebuyers.

“Valley Partnership attracts important speakers and hosts debates of candidates for state and local offices which helps me make better informed decisions,” he says. “The Valley Partnership advocacy team was a huge help to the Fighter Country Partnership efforts to bring the F-35 mission to Luke. This will impact our economy for generations to come. Valley Partnership’s role as the champion for moderate regulation has impacted all of our properties over the years and will continue to do so.”

Heather Markham, vice president of Markham Contracting Co., says her company has been a member of Valley Partnership since 1992 and is also a Stewardship Sponsor. Markham has attended breakfasts for the last five years and is one of the students in Valley Partnership’s inaugural Young Advocates Program. As a co-chair of the Community Project Committee, Markham says she also appreciate’s Valley Partnership’s commitment to networking and giving back to the community.

“I believe this involvement in the community is critical personally as well as professionally for everyone,” she says.

Markham has been self performing grading, paving and wet utilities civil infrastructure in the Southwest since 1977. Though Valley Partnership has only been around since 1987, Markham says the company has worked with many current Valley Partnership companies for nearly four decades. Partners include DMB Associates (Verrado and Eastmark), Macerich (Sonoran Crossing), Sunbelt Holdings (Vistancia), APS, Grayhawk Development, Lennar, Vintage Partners, MT Builders, HilgartWilson, Pulte, Atwell, Dibble Engineering, Wood Patel & Associates, Hoskin & Ryan, Siteworks, Speedie & Associates, Trench Shore Rentals, Alliance Bank of Arizona and Cemex.

“Valley Partnership plays a very strong role in responsible development of the commercial real estate community and provides an excellent venue for all the stakeholders in the process to come together and discuss issues and concerns as well as success stories,” she says. “This promotes strong partnerships between cities, counties, towns, state, land owners, developers, contractors, architects, engineers and every trade partner involved in making Arizona a great place to live and work.”

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AZ's First Multi-Builder Community for Baby Boomers

DMB Associates announced today the four builders that will construct homes at Victory, Arizona’s first multi-builder community for people 55 years and better which will be located in the multi-generational community of Verrado.

Only four homebuilders were selected among the interested top local and national homebuilders. The Phase One roster includes Lennar (NYSE: LEN), Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY), Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPE) and T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes. The combined purchase by the homebuilders totals $40.68 million.

Similar to DMB’s process of collaborating with lifestyle, health and longevity experts on the design of the community, DMB engaged an expert architect, universal design experts, and kitchen and bath designers to educate homebuilders on how the lifestyle, needs and motivations of Baby Boomers differ from traditional homebuyers.

As a result of the collaboration, these homebuilders will be offering innovative, easy living home designs with an emphasis on entertaining, personal retreats, dream kitchens including the latest appliances and technology, open floor plans, and casual living that creates connections between the indoor and outdoor living spaces.

“By collaborating with multiple builders, Victory at Verrado plans to offer its residents more choice, quality and personalization than other communities constructed by a single homebuilder. Multiple homebuilders, coupled with Verrado’s unique architectural guidelines and front porch emphasis, will create diverse and traditional looking neighborhoods,” said Nick Taratsas, DMB senior vice president and general manager of Victory. “No other developer has spent this kind of time and attention to educate builders on the specific needs of Baby Boomers.”

The first phase of homes will range from approximately 1,400 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet, available on four distinct lot sizes. Home prices are planned to range from the $200,000’s to more than $500,000.  DMB, which has a growing list of interested buyers, plans to start sales in January 2015.

The residents of Victory will enjoy all of the existing amenities the small town of Verrado offers today.  In addition, the Victory Club, which will be located at the center of the Victory District, will be the hub of the indoor and outdoor amenities designed and built exclusively for Victory residents. The Victory Club is planned to open in December 2015. Tom Lehman is designing Victory’s 18-hole golf course and clubhouse which is planned to open late 2016.  An extensive path and trail system connecting the new Victory district and adjacent White Tank Mountain range and Verrado is being planned as well.

DMB broke ground on Victory at Verrado in October 2013. The district will have 3,500 homes at build out.

Victory’s Phase One Builders and Number of Lots:

Lennar – 125

Maracay Homes – 98

Standard Pacific – 120

T.W. Lewis by David Weekley Homes- 74

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Ashton Woods Tops List of Most Trusted Builders in America

Trust is the new currency by which customers evaluate the merits of new-home builders, according to ground-breaking national research of more than 21,500 new- home shoppers in the Lifestory Research Most Trusted Builders in America Study SM.

The study finds that three-fourths of customers (76 percent) report that trust is a critical criterion by which they evaluate the merits of a home builder before making a purchase decision, placing significant emphasis on the perceived trustworthiness of home builder brands. “Home builders need to begin to ask themselves how consumers see their brand in regards to trust if they wish to effectively compete in the current marketplace,” said Lifestory Research President and CEO Eric Snider. “We find that the trust held by a customer toward a home builder is playing a central role among home shoppers as they seek to reduce uncertainty in the high-risk decision of purchasing a new home.”

The Lifestory Research Most Trusted Builders in America Study tracks 133 home builder brands in the top 27 housing markets in the United States.  However, for purposes of examining builders at the national level for this release, a builder brand was included if a builder was in the top 30 builders in the United States and was selling homes in at least three markets.  Based on this, the following brands were included in the national study of the Most Trusted Builders in America: Ashton Woods, Beazer, Centex, DR Horton, David Weekley, Del Webb, Drees, Gehan, Highland (TX), KB Home, KHovnanian, Lennar, M/I, Meritage, Perry, Pulte, Richmond American, Ryan, Ryland, Shea, Standard Pacific, Taylor Morrison, Toll Brothers, Trilogy by Shea Homes, and Woodside.

The Most Trusted Builder in America was Ashton Woods, the nation’s 25th largest builder selling homes in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Antonio and Tampa.  Ashton Woods produced a Net Trust Quotient Score of 111, followed in order by David Weekley Homes (108.5), Trilogy by Shea Homes (106.9), Perry Homes (106.8), Drees Homes (106.8), Meritage Homes (104.2), Highland Homes of Texas (104.2), Taylor Morrison Homes (101.6), M/I Homes (100.8), and Woodside Homes (100.8). Trilogy by Shea Homes also was recognized as the Most Trusted Active Adult Builder in America.

In a shift away from product usage and satisfaction research, Lifestory Research’s investigation focuses on how brands influence the purchase behavior of home shoppers. “We have seen a fundamental shift in consumer psychology that has occurred in response to the massive social revolution that has taken place over the last several years,” Snider said.  “Consumers are referencing customer advocacy organizations less for product information; instead, people are turning to their peers, friends, and digital social networks to garner opinions.  Moreover, in the process of shopping for a home, consumers rely upon their direct experience they have with the multitude of builder brands in a given marketplace.  As a result, we have seen brands rise in importance in the consumer purchase process.”

The study, in its first year, evaluates attitudes from thousands of consumers who are actively in the process of shopping for a new home in one of the top 27 housing markets in the United States.  Trust is measured through the Lifestory Research Net Trust Quotient Score.  This score is based on the fundamental perspective that every organization’s customer can be divided into three categories: “advocates” are customers who feel a significant trust toward a given brand; “neutrals” are customers who trust a specific brand, but they do not see a specific brand as standing on the shoulders of other brands in regards to trust; and “antagonists” are skeptics who have little, if any, trust in a specific brand.

The most effective way to gauge the trust of a brand is to take the percentage of customers who are trust advocates and subtract the percentage of people who are dis-trusters.  Scores are standardized (using z scores and t scores) with 100 being equal to the overall average.  Scores can array above and below the 100 point average.  Each Net Trust Quotient Score represents the net value of a brand on trust.  A brand with a high positive score is an indication that the brand is trusted by a large portion of the target market.  Conversely, a low score is an indication that the brand is not trusted by the consumer marketplace.

To qualify to participate in the study, participants must have met all of the following criteria:  Household located in the metro area of one of the 27 markets in the study (see link for list of markets), a household income in excess of $50,000, between the ages of 25 and 69, actively shopping for a home during the last 90 days, and with intentions of owning their next home (versus renting).

Detailed information about the study can be found at www.lifestoryresearch.com/builderrankings.

social.media

Home builder uses social media to attract buyers

Lennar Arizona has just surpassed 250,000 “views” on YouTube, has nearly 5500 Facebook “likes”, and 4,000 Twitter followers.  In fact, social media has become such a critical component of the Valley home builder that it has created a new “I Team”, standing for Information, Integrity and Internet. The five member I-Team is a strategic addition to the marketing department and will dedicate themselves to the on-line dialogue with customers.

In any given day, you can watch 30videos of their YouTube that take the viewer through a visual tour of any number of Lennar model homes available in Arizona, provide insights into the company’s innovations such as the new NextGen Home Within a Home® series, or point you in the direction to clear up a troubled credit score.

Lennar has a number of communities in the greater Phoenix area including Montecito in El Mirage, San Tan Heights and Skyline Ranch in San Tan Valley, Lone Mountain in Cave Creek, Evans Ranch and Layton Lakes in Gilbert and Stetson Valley in Phoenix.

In the era of 24-7, second by second streaming information, the communication begins long before that prospective buyer walks into the sales office. For the uninitiated, social media is a group of Internet, web based and mobile applications that have redefined the way many people communicate.  The user-generated content has put the general public in the forefront of defining the conversation, compared to the traditional methods such as newspapers, magazines, broadcast and websites that were controlled by professional journalists and company marketers.

For buyers Linn and Kelly Shaw who purchased a Lennar home at the Layton Lakes community in Gilbert, the social media presence made their search process easy.  “The ability to look at financing options and view new model homes prompted me to look into Lennar as a builder.  I really enjoyed the YouTube videos of the models.  With my wife’s and my busy schedules, we didn’t have a lot of time to tour model homes or communities, so their social media content streamlined the process for us.  Access to the homes through the videos and online detail description of the homes was a huge benefit to us,” said Linn Shaw.

Mike Lyon of the real estate sales training company Do You Convert says that content is the key in the success of social media.  “If the information a company presents is entertaining or educational, it will spread.”  And that’s the key.  “Social spaces are not about selling; it’s about educating and spreading information naturally, and Lennar was one of the first home builders to really commit to creating and spreading content,” he noted.

A number of the big home builders have embraced social media, but Lennar has taken the communication to a higher level. The company has tremendous visibility online whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, FourSquare, or LinkedIn, Lennar is all over it. The company also has four very active blogs.

“For several years now, Lennar has aggressively pursued the social media path.  “There is no question that our social media initiatives have created relationships that have led directly to home purchases,” said Mike Dowell, senior vice president of marketing for Lennar’s Arizona operations.

Buyers who have utilized the social media connections often pass along those tools to friends. “I watch real estate closely and haven’t seen another builder do what Lennar does on-line.  It was so easy to share the Lennar YouTube videos with our friends who were also looking for a home,” homebuyer Lin Shaw added.

The cultural shift is well underway. For many people of all ages, social media is becoming a preferred communication method. Social media is an effective way to communicate facts. “The customers seem to appreciate the ability to research the home opportunities on their own, and to review comments from current Lennar home owners via the company’s Facebook page, blog and other social media sites,” noted Dowell.

A home builder with nationwide presence, at the national level Lennar has more than 800,000 YouTube views, over 200,000 “likes” on Facebook and over 130,000 followers on Twitter. Additionally, each of Lennar’s Divisions across the nation has a strong and growing social media presence in their respective markets.

Lennar, founded in 1954, is one of the nation’s leading builders of quality homes for all generations. The company builds affordable, move-up, and retirement homes primarily under the Lennar brand name. The company has been building in Arizona for nearly 40 years and owns considerable land holdings in the state. For the latest Lennar information, visit any of the following: Lennar.com, Facebook.com/LennarPhoenix; Facebook.com/LennarTucson; YouTube.com/LennarPhoenix; YouTube.com/Lennar Tucson; Twitter.com/LennarPhoenix, Twitter.com/LennarTucson.

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JEN Partners closes land deals in Gilbert

JEN Partners closed five separate land transactions totaling 163.79 acres and 569 lots, in the master planned community known as the Bridges at Gilbert – located just east of the northeast corner of Higley and Ocotillo Roads in Gilbert.   JEN Partners sold to local builders: Maracay Homes, Lennar, Taylor Morrison, David Weekly/TW Lewis, Shea, and Woodside for $23,114,317. All transactions were negotiated by Nathan and Associates Inc.

According to JEN Partners’ Mike Jesberger, “We’re pleased to work with these builders to bring the Bridges at Gilbert community to the marketplace.  We will continue to work together to develop the property and look forward to seeing it take shape.”

“Maracay is very pleased to join these other builders in developing this master planned community in the heart of Gilbert and the East Valley,” said Tom Lemon, Vice President of land acquisitions and development for Maracay Homes.

The Bridges at Gilbert community will include the following lots: 111, 45’x115’ lots on 24.42 acres purchased by Lennar; 97, 60’x120’ lots on 30.48 acres purchased by Taylor Morrison; 78, 80’x130’ lots on 35.49 acres purchased by David Weekly/TW Lewis; and 97, 45’x115’ lots on 20.49 acres purchased by Shea Homes.

JEN Arizona 5 LLC, a Land Banking entity controlled by JEN Partners and managed locally by TerraWest Communities, purchased the remaining 113, 50’x115’ lots and 73, 70’x125’ lots, totaling 52.9 acres for $7,886,163. Under separate Option Agreements JEN Arizona 5 LLC will sell the 73, 70’ lots and 67, 50’ lots to Maracay Homes and 46, 50’ lots to Woodside.

AREA Awards

AREA Awards 2012 Winners, Finalists & Photos

A night full of networking, laughs and recognition, the first annual Arizona Real Estate Achievement, AREA Awards ceremony was held on May 3, 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix.

The Arizona Real Estate Achievement (AREA) Awards are selected by a panel of industry experts and honor the state’s best and brightest real estate companies, real estate agents, real estate brokers, mortgage companies, bankers, home builders, individuals who give back to the community, and those in the real estate business whose careers have left an indelible mark on the community and on the industry.

Comedian Travis Thurman made a special appearance at this year’s AREA Awards as our opening introduction. And the keynote speaker, Paul Blue, Chief of Staff for the Office of the Mayor informed the attendees of the importance of the real estate industry, neighborhood safety, education and much more.

Congratulations to all of the finalists, honorable mentions and winners!


View photos from the event on our Facebook:

AREA 2012 Snapshots

Photos: Cory Bergquist

Congratulations to all of our winners:

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE AGENT OF THE YEAR

Winner: Russell Shaw, Realty One Group
Honorable Mention:
Curtis Johnson, Curtis Johnson Realty

REAL ESTATE BROKER OF THE YEAR

Winner: Deems Dickenson, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International
Honorable Mention:
Dale Hillard, West USA Realty

REAL ESTATE COMPANY OF THE YEAR—SMALL

Winner: TEAM Investments
Honorable Mention:
Kirans & Associates

REAL ESTATE COMPANY OF THE YEAR—LARGE

Winner: Keller Williams Legacy One Realty
Honorable Mention:
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

MORTGAGE BANKER OF THE YEAR

Winner: Bill Rogers, Homeowners Financial Group
Honorable Mention:
NOVA

MORTGAGE COMPANY OF THE YEAR

Winner: AmeriFirst Financial
Honorable Mention:
CNN Mortgage

LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

Winner: Tiffany & Bosco
Honorable Mention:
Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner

HOME BUILDER OF THE YEAR

Winner: Lennar

CUSTOM HOME BUILDER OF THE YEAR

Winner: Cullum Homes

PHILANTHROPIC CONTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR

Winner: Erica Curtin, HomeSmart Realty
Honorable Mention: Kent Rini, CrimeBusters AZ

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Winner: Walt Danley, Walt Danley Realty

COMPANY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Winner: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


Finalists:

  • Erica Curtin, HomeSmart Realty
  • Walt Danley, Walt Danley Realty
  • Don Dickinson, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty
  • Dale Hillard, West USA Realty
  • Curtis Johnson, Curtis Johnson Realty
  • Tanya Marchiol, TEAM Investments
  • Kent Rini, Crimebusters of AZ
  • Russell Shaw, Realty ONE Group
  • Kiran Vedantam, Kirans & Associates
  • Keller Williams Legacy One Realty
  • AmeriFirst Financial Inc.
  • Coldwell Banker
  • CNN Mortgage
  • Cullum Homes
  • Homeowners Financial Group
  • Lennar Arizona, Inc.
  • NOVA Home Loans
  • Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.Cc
  • Tiffany & Bosco

Presenting Sponsor:

Great American Title Agency

 

Event Partner:

Phoenix Association of RealtorsWEMAR

AREA Awards

AREA Awards 2012: Home Builder Of The Year

The Arizona Real Estate Achievement (AREA) Awards — selected by a panel of industry experts — honor the state’s best and brightest real estate companies, real estate agents, real estate brokers, mortgage companies, bankers, home builders, individuals who give back to the community, and those in the real estate business whose careers have left an indelible mark on the community and on the industry.

AREA AWARDS: HOME BUILDER OF THE YEAR

Winner: Lennar

AREA Awards: LennarLennar has been developing master planned communities in Arizona for nearly 40 years. Since 2000, Alan M. Jones has been at the helm of Lennar in Arizona. In 2011, Jones and Lennar shook things up with a new, multi-generational home concept “Next Gen — The home within a home.”  Next Gen was developed to meet the needs of ever-evolving, multi-generational family dynamics. Whether it is an elderly parent living with their grown child’s family, a young adult “boomeranging” back to live in mom and dad’s house, or the in-laws from out-of-town visiting for extended periods of time during the winter months in the Valley of the Sun, Lennar’s Next Gen floor plans are designed to accommodate the trend that has seen more than 51 million Americans living in multigenerational households.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

Two houses joined together with staples

Together Again – Multigenerational Living

Aging population, tough economy drive increase in multigenerational living

There is a good chance that when grandma or grandpa came for holiday dinner, they didn’t have far to travel: likely from the next room.

An aging population — the Alliance for Aging Research says 10,000 baby boomers in the U.S. turn 65 every day — and a still-struggling economy have helped the extended family make a huge comeback. It’s also created a new label: the “sandwich generation,” which describes more than 16 million Americans who care for children and their parents in their home.

A Pew Research Center’s study shows that 16 percent of households have two adult generations living under one roof, a 33 percent increase from a decade ago. From 2009 to 2010 alone, there was an increase of more than 500,000 multigenerational residences.

“With pensions failing and retirees experiencing shortfalls in savings, it’s going to become even more popular,” says John L. Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living.” But believe it or not, aging parents are not the age group most responsible for the trend. That distinction belongs to young adults — especially those ages 25 to 34. In 1980, just 11 percent of adults in this age group lived in a multi-generational household. By 2008, 20 percent did, and the economy appears to have played a significant role. A Pew survey found that among 22- to 29-year-olds, one in eight say that, because of the recession, they have boomeranged back to live with their parents after being on their own.

While the increase in the number of multigenerational homes has presented financial challenges for some of those that find themselves with multiple generations living under one roof, it has presented financial opportunities for contractors who are adding additions or remodeling existing homes, and for realtors and home builders who see a new market opening.

“The demographics are changing, the economics are changing” says Alan Jones, Lennar’s Arizona division president. “More Americans are doubling up and it’s a trend that needs to be addressed.” Lennar addressed the trend by introducing its NextGen home, which the company markets as a “home within a home.”

“Lennar is the first home builder in the nation to address this demographic shift in our country,” says Jon Jaffe, Lennar’s chief operating officer. “Having multiple generations living under one roof is deeply rooted and desired by several cultural backgrounds in the United States. Plus, the aging of America is creating a need to care for parents, and for most people the most economical way to do that is at home. This home within a home design offers privacy for everyone.”

Lennar’s NextGen home has a specific floorplan incorporated into the main house that includes a separate first-floor living space with its own entrance, living area, kitchenette, attached garage, patio and barbecue area. There is a door that accesses the main living area. “Everyone living in the house can then share space as they see as appropriate,” Jones says. “We are actually building a home for the way that people are already living.”

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012