Prior to the recession, Winston-Salem home builder Shugart Enterprises LLC was the Triad’s busiest home builder, closing on about 600 lots per year on average. With home prices ranging from $92,000 to $630,000, Shugart consistently had about 30 developments in the works. Going into the slump, the builder had 700 lots in its inventory.
It’s taken five years to work through that inventory, and Shugart Enterprises founder Grover Shugart is finally moving forward with some new projects — and a smaller appetite.
This spring, Shugart is beginning development on 183 lots across six new communities Triadwide. It’s also building out 90 lots via additional phases in four of its existing developments.
That total of 273 new building lots is a far cry from the 621 closings Shugart Enterprises notched in 2007. But for Shugart, that’s the whole idea.
“We’re not looking to get as large as we were before. We have no desire for that,” said Shugart, who started the firm in 1966. “We’ve learned a lot in the last five years.”
Today, rather than 30 projects in the works, Shugart Enterprises will aim for 15 to 20 at the most, with fewer lots on average per development.
The new development projects Shugart will start this spring are:
Willoughby, 12 single-family lots in Clemmons, starting at $190,000;
The Villas at Sunny Brook, 45 one-story townhomes in Clemmons, starting at $130,000;
The Commons at West Meadows, 15 one-story townhomes in Clemmons, starting at $150,000;
Miller’s Creek Commons, 47 one-story townhomes on developed lots off N.C. 150 in Davidson County, starting at $150,000;
Westover Ridge Crossing, which has nine one-story townhome lots already developed and 34 more under development in High Point, starting at $130,000; and,
Southpark, 23 single-family lots in Graham, starting at $170,000.
Those price ranges of are sharply down from the broad range Shugart targeted prior to the recession. But the smaller-scale development and revamped pricing had to be done to make Shugart Enterprises competitive with other builders who snapped up cheap bank-owned lots throughout the recession, Shugart said.
“We’ve just been trying to fill in. It doesn’t make any difference how small it might be,” Shugart said. “Banks are not back into the land acquisition and development, so you pretty much either have to do it through investors or you’re doing it on your own.”
Beyond those new developments, Shugart Enterprises has also started subsequent phases tin the western side of the Triad: a 22 single-family lot phase two for Meadow Valley in High Point; a 21 single-family lot phase four for Sedgemont Village in Kernersville and a 24 single-family lot phase two for Planters Walk in Thomasville. Design has started for a 23 single-family lot phase eight of River Gate in Clemmons.
“They’re communities that we had going into the recession that have taken off, and we have to put more lots on the ground,” said Greg Garrett, vice president of land acquisitions.
Carlock, Catherine (April 2014). Lessons learned, Triad home builder Shugart Enterprises going smaller-scale. Triad Business Journal