By DENNIS GLADE
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 7:09 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2012
Posted: 6:54 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2012
Despite a nationwide downturn that has crippled the housing market across Florida, GL Homes is succeeding in a way that not even the company could have predicted.
GL Homes will have a grand opening Saturday for nine new model homes at its newest development, The Bridges. It expects nearly 1,000 people to attend the event west of Delray Beach.
At The Bridges, where 600 homes are planned, 108 have been sold at an average price of $700,000, said Jill DiDonna, division director for GL Homes. She said the progress in 2012 is a pleasant surprise.
"We opened in February and that's just one community and it's indicative of what is going on right now," DiDonna said. "We expected the market would respond well, but we didn't expect it to explode the way it has."
GL saw first-quarter revenue of more than $200 million with the sale of 503 homes. It sold 310 in Palm Beach County during the quarter.
DiDonna said the growth is across the board and not just the result of the more affluent buying more homes.
"I think the biggest reason for their success is they are listening to the brokerage community and they have done some focus groups to ask what buyers are looking for," said Chuck Luciano of Keller Williams Realty. "They have a good reputation and they have stood by their product."
The construction of the homes is creating jobs.
"If you go to any of our communities in Boynton, we have hundreds of construction workers out there working and that will ripple across the construction community," DiDonna said.
"It's not just the success of GL Homes; it's everyone getting involved and getting back to work and they are all happy and excited about what is happening."