Grayhawk and David Weekley Homes share how they prepared to enter new territory, and D.R. Horton builds on the site of an abandoned condo complex.
By 2010, Grayhawk Homes had a hefty share of the new-home market in Columbus, Ga., and had made decent inroads into Fort Benning. The realignment of U.S. troops and base closures started by the Department of Defense in 2005 relocated thousands of military personnel and families to the builder’s core market. David Erickson founded his company in 2007 and, by 2012, the Fort Benning influx pushed the builder’s annual closings to 248 houses and its revenue 67 percent over the previous year to $61 million. But Erickson, a builder in the area for 22 years, recognized growth prospects in the South Georgia market would be limited as the realignment wound down. So he started looking out-of-state for places to expand.