From the Desk of the CEO
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that every project has its own feel. The whole process from research, to acquisition, to planning, to development, to leasing, and so on always takes on a life of its own and brings with it a host of challenges and opportunities. I recently visited our newest development, West Shire Village in Ocala, Florida, and if ever there was a project that had a distinct feel it’s this one.
When all is said and done, this brand-new residential community will include over 400 one-, two-, and three-bedroom ranch and town home units, an incredible clubhouse with pool, fitness center, workspaces, and community center, as well as a dog park, sports courts, lounge areas, and so much more. It quite literally is its own neighborhood with everything needed for individuals or families to make a happy home. That, to a T, is what this whole thing is about. But unlike in the years past, there are different considerations involved. There’s a different feel.
Something I failed to mention is that this entire community was conceived and designed to be build-for-rent. The housing market has become prohibitively expensive for potential homeowners in just a few short years, particularly in coastal areas. And the prospect of finding that happy home has become exponentially more difficult, near impossible in some cases, for people to turn into a reality. Buying a house is just unattainable in our current market environment, period.
That is why we set out to change the housing landscape; to come up with a solution that doesn’t require compromise. As you may have read from one of my earlier pieces, we’re betting big on build for rent and have plans to use West Shire Village as a stepping-stone and framework to replicate in other markets across the Southeast and bring much needed additional, afforable housing options to growing communities that are feeling the pinch. We’ve done our due diligence and are using our years of experience and expertise to offer a new class of residences that have every semblance of homeowning without the massive financial strain of the current real estate market.
As I mentioned earlier though, it’s not without its challenges. Developing during turbulent economic periods is always tough and can be a tricky venture. It’s often during these very same periods though where you can stand out from the pack and establish yourself as a leader in the space who is willing to forge ahead and answer the needs of prospective residents and the community at-large. As other developers scale back on their operations, supply decreases and project input costs trend lower. In my mind, based on the historical data, this all translates to opportunity.
In addition to financial and physical resources, we’re investing heavily in human resources and have worked hard to assemble a strong team to capitalize on that opportunity. People with boots on the ground. People with an intimate knowledge of the local area. People with a passion for their neighborhood, their community, and their entire region. People committed to helping foster a thriving, connected community that will enhance the lives of its residents and radiate outward to bring those same positive effects to the broader surrounding area.
It’s that deep connection, that feeling, that stuck with me on my recent visit. This project feels different because it is different. West Shire Village represents a big shift in focus at both a micro level within our company, and on a macro level within the residential real estate industry. Being there in person, talking to the people who are breathing life into this concept, and seeing this property rise from the ground up leaves me feeling motivated and inspired. It took me a while to pinpoint, but I was finally able to narrow down just why I felt so excited about this project and what really set it apart from the others … it’s the fact that this is only just the beginning!
Chief Executive Officer