Builder 100: Six Firms that Climbed the List
April 28, 2016
In advance of next week’s Builder 100 release, we spotlight six builders one each day that stood out on important issues including lots, labor, and lending.
No. 172: The Bozzuto Group
The Bozzuto GroupYear Founded: 1988
2016 Builder 100 Rank: 172
Units Closed in 2015: 167
Percent Change YoY: +35%
Location: Greenbelt, Md.
When it comes to knowing what young home buyers want, The Bozzuto Group has a leg up on most of the companies on the Builder 100/Next 100 list.
Because the regional home builder is also an award-winning apartment developer, it has years of firsthand experience working with renters. In fact, the firm currently manages more than 50,000 apartment units along the East Coast between Atlanta and Boston.
This means that when it’s time to buy a home, many of Bozzuto’s 100,000 renters look to the company as a brand they trust, says chief administrative officer Julie Smith. The 28-year-old firm has received numerous customer service awards for property management, including the Top Online Reputation award from multifamily executive magazine and J Turner Research two years in a row, from 2015 to 2016.
Julie Smith - The Bozzuto Group
Smith says young renters (and buyers) crave amenities such as natural light, connections to the outdoors, and open plans with rooms that serve multiple functions. By catering to millennials as well as East Coast empty-nesters looking to downsize, the firm has made huge strides in its for-sale business, rising to 172 from 191 on the latest Builder 100 list, which tracks the U.S. single-family, townhome, and condo markets.
Bozzuto’s for-sale townhomes and condos are located in trendy neighborhoods in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas, where buyers enjoy access to public transportation and other urban amenities. For instance, the firm’s new Gallery Towns project in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood is adjacent to Catholic and Trinity universities, a Metro stop, and a seasonal farmers market. The well-appointed townhomes are outfitted with high-end stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, rooftop terraces on all units, and private parking. Prices start in the $700s.
The firm is looking to expand its for-sale offerings to other cities where it currently builds and manages multifamily projects, such as Atlanta and Boston. Bozzuto’s development division executives rely on data from the company’s apartment managers to determine when the time and place are right to expand its for-sale portfolio.
“We’re staying very close to millennials to make sure we know what they want,” says Smith, who is bullish on enticing more Bozzuto renters to move to a place of their own.
“The dream of homeownership is still very much alive today, and the interest rate has been really favorable too,” she notes. “A lot of our renters want to own, and they know the Bozzuto brand and end up buying our for-sale property when it’s time for them to buy. We have a nice pipeline of potential buyers.