New Urban Challenge Weathers The Storm – Ready For Debut During International Builders' Show

by David Weekley Homes

In agreeing to participate in the New Urban Challenge project-- a trio of homes showcasing innovations in urban homebuilding at the upcoming International Builders' Show (IBS)-- David Weekley Homes believed the greatest challenge would be in building not one, but three unique and lifestyle-rich homes. However, three separate hurricanes rocking Florida's shores, a shortage of homebuilding supplies and days of delayed production quickly became challenges all of their own for the nation's third largest privately-owned Home Builder.

During construction, the three show homes located in Baldwin Park withstood wind speeds of 100+ mph, only to be faced with a loss of power and materials once the storms subsided; not to mention an urgency to have the homes ready for the show's opening. “While we were able to have some extra materials, such as tiles, ready to go in anticipation of the hurricanes, the aftermath was difficult,” explained David Weekley, Chairman and CEO of David Weekley Homes.

“Finding and scheduling workers all hours of the day and night, getting deliveries of needed materials in a timely manner and working through power outages were obstacles that made this project difficult. Our team members and contractors, however, pulled together, working many late nights and weekends. And in the end, we're delivering three homes in advance of the show that are simply amazing in design, quality and innovation for the industry. We couldn't be more proud.”

Customer-focused building is at the forefront of the New Urban Challenge. As one of the most talked about trends in planning and community design, urbanism centers around building new homes to meet the diverse lifestyles found in residential urban neighborhoods. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. housing market is beginning to fragment into identifiable groups with each group seeking a home that uniquely reflects the owner's lifestyle. Needs that builders are monitoring closely include community interaction, diverse housing, services and amenities within walking distance, and designs that simplify daily life.

“This new trend is complicated for builders looking to provide the right product that attracts a variety of buyers,” explains Ken McDonald, Orlando Division President for David Weekley Homes. “In the New Urban Challenge, we've showcased ways to build a home regardless of size that will still reflect the buyer's lifestyle needs. The project shows that while urban areas do not typically have the space of their suburban home counterparts, the floorplan, layout, advanced home technology and design options, as well as building innovations, can all come together and make a home with fewer square feet seem anything but small.”

The three innovative David Weekley Homes that will be showcased include:

  • The Shingled Cottage for Active Adults – Designed to suit retirees, the cottage features a master suite at ground level, a private courtyard and ample storage.
  • The Villa for the Modern Couple – This open interior two-story home is perfect for honeymooners who enjoy twenty-first century amenities. An outdoor dining area overlooks a garden and pool, while a suite above the detached garage serves as a game/media room.
  • The Classic Family Residence – Perfect for a young and growing family, this home includes modern touches such as a large kitchen-great room combination, a luxurious master suite and a pair of kids' suites – all upstairs and out of sight from visiting guests.

A clear definition of the style and needs of each of its target markets, each home is approximately 2,300 square feet. Despite the diverse target markets, the trio of homes also features the essential building elements of new urbanism by simplifying daily life, accommodating lifestyle changes and creating connections with neighbors.

In addition to being on display during the International Builders' Show, David Weekley Homes will open the trio of homes to the general public for two weekends following the show, January 22- 23 and January 29- 30 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from Noon – 5 p.m. on Sundays. “By opening the homes to the public, consumers will be able to have a glimpse into the future of homebuilding and discover the possibilities they will have when building their own home,” says Weekley.

David Weekley Homes was selected by Builder and Home magazines to work with a trio of renowned residential architects each to design and build a home that showcases the elements of today's urban desires. The New Urban Challenge homes built by David Weekley Homes will debut during the 61 st annual International Builders' Show, January 13-16, 2005, in Orlando. Media preview dates are available beginning January 10, January 22- 23 and January 29- 30.

About David Weekley Homes
David Weekley Homes ( ) is the third-largest privately-held builder in the United States, operating in more than 230 communities in 18 markets , including Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Founded in 1976, Houston-based David Weekley Homes has closed more than 40,000 homes and currently boasts annual revenues exceeding $949M.

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