Building an empire: William Lyon's retirement ends 63-year career as builder who helped shape Orange County suburbsWilliam Lyon's retirement ends 63-year career as builder who helped shape Orange County suburbs see more
The official account says William Lyon and his older brother, Leon, founded a small Orange County homebuilding firm in 1954 to build houses for soldiers returning from the Korean War.
An unofficial version – as told by his son, Bill H. Lyon – was that Lyon’s father, Depression-era builder and Kahlua importer Al Lyon, wanted to get him away from the risky business of flying airplanes.
So veteran combat and commercial air pilot William Lyon hung up his wings in 1954 and co-founded Luxury Homes in Fullerton, the first of several homebuilding companies Lyon would run over the next 63 years.
Eventually, his namesake development company, William Lyon Homes, became the 20th biggest homebuilding firm in the nation, according to Builder Magazine’s 2016 ranking, selling almost 2,800 homes in 2016, generating more than $1.4 billion in gross revenue.
In February, that era came to an end when the man affectionately known as “the general” stepped down from the board of directors.
Gen. Lyon, who earned that rank as commander of the U.S. Air Force Reserves in the 1970s, was 20 days shy of his 94th birthday when he officially retired.
It was part of an ongoing transition, long in the works, son Bill H. Lyon said.
Lyon stepped down as his firm’s chief executive in March 2013, and he stepped down as board chairman last year. Bill succeeded his father as board chairman.
The career that started with GI homes in Fullerton and ultimately housed thousands of families in Orange County and throughout the West made Lyon one of Orange County’s most wealthy and influential men.
He survived several market downturns, riding out the tough times by slashing inventories and staff and selling off land at a loss to raise capital. Lyon barely survived the early 1990s downturn. Following the housing crash of 2007, the Lyon family transferred a controlling interest in their firm to new investors, although the General retained his position at the helm.
In May 2014, Builder Magazine inducted Lyon into its Builder Hall of Fame.
“He’s a giant in our community. He’s built a name, he’s built neighborhoods, he’s built trust and discipline,” said John McManus, Builder Magazine’s editor. “His land acumen, his focus on homebuyers, his approaches to accessing capital, and his fiercely entrepreneurial spirit made his company a kind of academy for a couple of generations of homebuilding’s leaders.”
BIASC Homebuilders Honored With 2017 Eliant Awards see more
Home builders who provided their customers with the best purchase and ownership experiences—according to surveyed home buyers—were recently honored in the 21st annual Eliant Homebuyers’ Choice Awards competition. The winning builders were chosen based on the results of more than 106,000 surveys which were administered to all recent home owners from over 156 major homebuilders across the U.S. MBK Homes is the recipient of the “The Eliant” award for the Best Overall Purchase and Ownership Experience from among multi-division builders. In addition, MBK Homes was honored with 21 awards including an unprecedented 11 First Place awards and 6 Second Place awards among all Medium-Volume builders.
The highest number of awards earned by a home builder in this year’s competition was a total of 22 Homebuyers’ Choice Awards earned by The New Home Company, including four First Place Awards.
A clear customer favorite, the TRI Pointe Group, won a total of 18 Homebuyer’s Choice Awards, half of which were Premier Awards. “We are thrilled to receive this recognition,” stated Tom Mitchell, President and COO of the TRI Pointe Group.
Benchmark Communities won a total of 16 Homebuyers’ Choice Awards, and William Lyon Homes, Robson Resort Communities and GL Homes of Florida were recognized both the Large and High Volume Builder segment. William Lyon received homebuyers’ number one ranking for the Construction Experience and Design Experience.
The Top 20 Most Trusted Homebuilders in America see more
BIASC Members Make the List of the Top 20 Most Trusted Homebuilders in America
According to the results from the 2017 America’s Most Trusted® Home Builder Study by Lifestory Research, Building Industry Association of Southern California, Inc. (BIASC) members, Taylor Morrison, Richmond American, Khovnanian Homes, Toll Brothers, Shea Homes, William Lyon Homes, CalAtlantic Homes, TriPointe Homes, Meritage Homes, Lennar, Beazer Homes, D.R. Horton, Pulte Homes, and KB Home, have made the list of the Top 20 Most Trusted Homebuilders in America.
After tabulating the opinions of home shoppers and identifying the home builder that is trusted the most among the nation’s largest builders, Taylor Morrison take the top spot on the list. This is the second consecutive year in which Taylor Morrison has been identified among home shoppers as being the home builder they trust the most among the nation’s largest builders.
“Relationships and trust are the foundation of success for any business,” said Taylor Morrison President and CEO Sheryl Palmer, whose company was also ranked No. 1 in last year’s study. “Every day we strive to provide our customers with the resources and support to help them make an educated decision about their most important investment.”
Taylor Morrison operates in 16 regional markets across nine states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, N. Carolina, S. Carolina and Texas – and closed more than 6,300 homes in 2015.
The study, based on 31,764 consumer opinions, tracks how trust impacts consumers’ evaluations of home builder brands. Consumer opinions are collected over the course of the prior 12 months in the largest home building markets in the United States. To qualify to participate in the study, participants must have indicated that they were aware of specific brands and actively shopping for a new home.
See the table below for Lifestory Research’s full top 20 rankings.
National Home Builder
1 Taylor Morrison 115.4 2 Richmond American 113.7 3 Khovnanian Homes 113.2 4 Toll Brothers 113.1 5 Shea Homes 112.9 6 Ashton Woods 112.8 7 William Lyon Homes 112.6 8 David Weekley Homes 112 9 CalAtlantic Homes 112 10 TriPointe Homes 111.5 11 LGI Homes 111.2 12 Meritage Homes 111 13 M/I Homes 110.4 14 Century Communities 109.5 15 Lennar 108.9 16 Beazer Homes 108.3 17 D.R. Horton 107.8 18 Pulte Homes 107.6 19 Ryan Homes 107.6 20 KB Home 103.3
BIASC Members Recognized at GSMC’s 2016 SoCal Awards see more
The best in homebuilding shined this Saturday, September 10th at the Greater Sales & Marketing Council’s 2016 SoCal Awards. Six industry professionals spent 4 days judging nearly 500 incredible entries of over 40 building professionals and visiting 15 communities traveling 558 miles.
One of the winning projects came from Danielian Associates Architecture + Planning and COE Architecture, titled The Residences at Westgate in downtown Pasadena. The project was announced the winner out of six finalists in its category, including Alterra at La Floresta by Van Daele Homes and Bassenian Lagoni; Avanti by The New Home Company and Robert Hidey Architects; Mason at Playa Vista by Brookfield Residential and KTGY Architecture; Modera Glendale by Mill Creek Residential Trust and KTGY Architecture; and Vireo at Esencia by William Lyon Homes and Mark Scheurer Architect.
“We are extremely proud of the entire project team and ecstatic to have this project recognized by the building community. This year’s finalists in the Multifamily Architecture category represented a literal who’s who of our industry’s best and we are honored to be included among them,” said John Danielian, AIA, Principal at Danielian Associates. “Our firm takes great pride in working collaboratively to develop design solutions that support successful projects and enable our clients to achieve and exceed their goals. The Residences at Westgate is a great story and a true testament to our firm’s guiding principles and core values.”
The Residences at Westgate includes 88 units ranging from studios up to two bedroom units with lofts; a rooftop lounge with entertainment wall and demonstration kitchen; fitness center; private courtyard BBQ spaces; and approximately 16,500 SF of ground floor retail and restaurant space.
Building Industry Association of Southern California, Inc. (BIASC) members, and building industry professionals from Pasadena, Palm Springs, San Diego, Encinitas, San Juan Capistrano, Irvine, Newport Beach, Lake Forest, in 53 categories have been chosen as finalist to represent the greatest building industry professionals that Southern California has to offer.
Click the link here in order to see the rest of the winners for the 2016 SoCal Awards that were presented at the awards gala at the Disneyland Hotel – Grand Ballroom.
BIASC members kick off Essentials Drive with the 2nd Annual Builders 4 Babies event. see more
HomeAid Orange County's Essential Drive Campaign kicked off with a huge success at the 2nd Annual Builders 4 Babies event Friday, April 29 underneath the Big "A" at the Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Building Industry Association of Southern California members came together to help collect diaper donations, and other essential items, for homeless babies in southern California.
BIASC members, Lennar, Brookfield Residential, Toll Brothers, Shea Homes, William Lyon Homes, the New Home Company, Reliable Wholesale Lumber, and CalAtlantic Homes all participated in the event by collecting donated diapers and building elaborate houses out of the boxes.
“This is a fun way to raise awareness about the need for diapers,” said Dave Prolo, vice president of operations for Southern California Cal Atlantic homes.
HomeAid OC’s goal this year is to collect more than 1 million diapers to be donated to 19 homeless shelters and facilities in Orange County before Mother's Day. Last year, the organization took in 1.8 million diapers.
“Not many people are aware of how important and expensive diapers are,” Scott Larson, executive director of HomeAid OC, said. “The average cost of diapers for a family is $100 a month. So, for some low-income families, they have to make a serious economic decision – food or diapers.”
Because diapers are considered a hygiene item, federal economic assistance programs, such as WIC, do not cover the cost. For more information about HomeAid OC's Essentials Drive go to homeaidessentials.org. To read the full Orange County Register article about the Builders 4 Babies event click here.